Public affairs industry responds to Scottish lobbying consultation

Scotland's lobbying inquiry and the party conference season have prompted a renewed focus on transparency from the public affairs industry.

Scottish bill: Holyrood is conducting its own lobbying inquiry
Scottish bill: Holyrood is conducting its own lobbying inquiry

Both the PRCA and CIPR have drafted their responses to the Proposed Lobbying Transparency (Scotland) Bill consultation, which they have issued to their members for discussion. Following this, the responses will be sent to Scotland next week.

The CIPR has praised Scotland's bill, which unlike the Westminster consultation has included in-house practitioners. CIPR comms director Phil Morgan said: 'It moves the whole debate to a more sensible starting point.'

However, in the PRCA's draft response, the body has hit out at the phrasing within the bill, which suggests lobbyists only aim to influence.

'The PRCA disagrees that lobbying is merely to influence,' a PRCA spokesman said. 'Lobbyists seek to inform as well as influence policy so that policy makers can make decisions with the best possible understanding of the effect and implications legislation or regulation will have.'

The PRCA has suggested that its own register would provide a 'suitable template' for the information that should be included in a Scottish register.

Meanwhile, the PRCA's public affairs group is making the case for the lobbying industry during the party conference season, by holding drinks receptions at all three major conferences, led by group head, Connect Communications' Emily Wallace.

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