Government launches consultation into statutory register of lobbyists

The Government has launched its consultation into developing a statutory register of lobbyists.

Houses of Parliament: lobbyists' target
Houses of Parliament: lobbyists' target
The12-week consultation has been launched by minister for political and constitutional reform Mark Harper, who is inviting views from the public and industry on how the register will work.

The consultation seeks views on the definition of a lobbyist, who should be required to register and what information should be collected about them and their clients. The consultation will also look into how the register should be funded.

The news comes after a number of scandals have hit the lobbying industry, such as The Independent’s sting against Bell Pottinger and former defence secretary Liam Fox’s relationship with lobbyist Adam Werritty.

Harper said lobbying played an ‘important role’ in the policy-making process, but added that it must be conducted in ‘a transparent and open way’.

‘We already publish an unprecedented amount of information about who ministers and senior officials meet. However, it’s not always obvious who the people ministers and officials meet represent.

‘That’s why the Government wants a register that will bring more transparency to the lobbying process and we would welcome the views of the public and the lobbying industry on this consultation document.’

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