Lobbying register absence from Queen's Speech provokes industry backlash

Industry bodies the APPC, CIPR and PRCA have called on the Government to come clean over the fate of its legislation for a statutory lobbying register, which was not mentioned in the Queen's Speech.

APPC chairman Michael Burrell: 'We're now in limbo'
APPC chairman Michael Burrell: 'We're now in limbo'
The trio maintained their united front on the issue with a joint statement that described the lack of draft legislation for the proposed register as ‘incredibly disappointing’.

They went on to call on the Government to provide clarity about its intentions: ‘If it intends to drop legislation this Parliament then it has a duty to the general public to let its new intentions be known. If it does still plan to introduce legislation, then it must publish the detail of its plans.

‘Without a clear statement of intent from the Government it is difficult not to conclude that the Government is looking to quietly drop the plans for lobbying reform.’

The bodies also issued separate statements, with APPC chairman Michael Burrell saying: ‘The coalition Government has to make clear its intentions concerning a statutory lobbying register. We’re now in limbo as to exactly what the future holds, with no clear direction of travel.’

Francis Ingham, PRCA director general, said: ‘The industry desires – not fears – transparency, which makes the Government’s inaction all the more frustrating. It is disappointing that the Government is wasting time and resources, but also missing an opportunity to increase trust in the institutions that we lobby.’

Jane Wilson, chief executive of the CIPR, said: ‘Even though there are no firm proposals in the Queen’s Speech, the Government has an opportunity to engage with the industry to discuss what plans it may still have for a statutory register and how bodies like the CIPR, APPC and PRCA are actively promoting higher standards of professional conduct in lobbying.

‘We want to know what it proposes to do, having first promised a register in 2010, but above all we want to help the Government shape its plans and to promote the positive role of lobbying in our democracy.’

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