Coalition MPs back universal lobbying register

A clear majority of Coalition MPs back calls for a lobbying register to include in-house teams, trade bodies, NGOs and charities, according to a Populus poll.

Majority: 68% of Tory MPs and 75% of Lib Dems called for a register to include in-house public affairs teams
Majority: 68% of Tory MPs and 75% of Lib Dems called for a register to include in-house public affairs teams

The Populus Parliament Panel surveyed 113 MPs during the four weeks from 27 February, finding strong Coalition support for a register of all those involved in lobbying activity.

Sixty-eight per cent of Tory MPs and 75% of Lib Dems called for a register to include in-house public affairs teams, while more than 70% from both parties supported the inclusion of trade bodies, trade unions, NGOs and charities.

Overall, 65% of MPs backed calls for in-house public affairs teams to be included in the forthcoming register.

There were stark differences between the Coalition and Labour on suggestions trade unions, NGOs and charities should be included. Thirty-eight per cent of Labour MPs supported the inclusion of trade unions, 35% for NGOs and just 31% for charities.

Overall, only 10% of MPs said that no lobbyist should be included in a statutory register.

Commenting on the research, Francis Ingham, PRCA chief executive, said: ‘This Populus poll is a resounding "no" to the Government’s plans for a consultancy-only register of lobbyists.

‘For a register to work, it needs to include everyone who lobbies, regardless of who their employer is. MPs recognise this, and I’m sure that ministers will by now be realising it too.

‘We will now be redoubling our efforts to ensure that the Government changes its currently unfair and unworkable plans.’

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