PRCA calls for consultation to focus on 'act of lobbying'

As the Government's consultation into lobbying enters its final week, the PRCA has filed its response, in which it has rejected the Government's definition of a lobbyist - calling for it to centre on the 'act of lobbying'.

Francis Ingham: PRCA chief executive
Francis Ingham: PRCA chief executive
In response to the Government’s consultation on a proposed statutory register of lobbyists, the PRCA has proposed a definition of a lobbyist as a professional that deliberately and intentionally conducts the ‘act of lobbying’, rather than focusing on the profession of the individual itself. The news follows the PRCA consulting with its members.

The deadline for the Government’s consultation is this Friday, having being extended by a week.

Francis Ingham, PRCA chief executive, said: ‘Getting the definition right is crucial to creating a register that promotes transparency and produces public trust in our industry and the political institutions they lobby. Unfortunately the Government’s proposed definition is worryingly narrow and therefore unfit for purpose.’

The PRCA suggests that a definition that focuses on the act rather than the profession will ensure that all lobbyists will be placed on the register, including professionals that lobby as part of in-house teams, think-tanks, trade unions, NGOs and trade association bodies such as the PRCA.

The PRCA adds that this definition was produced following a survey of PRCA members that ‘overwhelmingly stated that the Government’s definition was unsuitable’.

Following the consultation, the Government expects to produce a White Paper with draft legislation included at some point this year.

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