Government restates position on lobbying register following FT claims

A Cabinet Office spokesman has claimed the Government 'remains committed' to introducing a statutory lobbying register despite a Financial Times report today.

Chloe Smith: Cabinet Office minister responsible for the statutory lobbying register plans
Chloe Smith: Cabinet Office minister responsible for the statutory lobbying register plans
According to the FT, ‘senior Tories are determined to axe the "the Lib Dem hobbyhorse" of a statutory register of lobbyists’.

The newspaper quoted a Tory source saying the proposal ‘was in effect dead as ministers focused on "big issues" rather than devote resources to a Liberal Democrat idea’.

The Cabinet Office spokesman said the report did not change its position on plans for the register and repeated a promise to ‘bring forward our proposals in due course’.

Francis Ingham, PRCA director-general, said: ‘As the statutory plans appear to have gone by the wayside, the PRCA will continue to operate its own Public Affairs Register, which covers consultancies, in-house lobbying departments, and individual professional practitioners. Our register demonstrates that the industry desires - not fears - transparency.’

Last month, PRWeek reported widespread scepticism about the Government’s desire to proceed with the plans as its stated deadline for publishing draft legislation slipped away.  

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