MPs against lobbying register proposals, survey finds

A survey has shown that more than half of MPs polled disagree with the Government's lobbying register proposals.

Lobbying: The issue is currently being considered in the House of Lords
Lobbying: The issue is currently being considered in the House of Lords

The survey, carried out by Populus for PRWeek, reveals that 58 per cent of 132 MPs quizzed on the matter think a lobbying register should include both in-house and third party lobbyists.

The findings conflict with government moves to introduce a register that would exclude those in-house, and come after ongoing and widespread condemnation of the proposals by the PR industry.

Of those polled, 23 per cent strongly supported including in-house lobbyists, compared with two per cent who strongly opposed it.

Populus’ findings show that 76 per cent of Labour MPs backed the inclusion of in-house lobbyists, compared with 59 per cent of Liberal Democrats and 36 per cent of Conservatives.

PRCA director of comms Matt Cartmell said: "This proves there’s an appetite for the universal register, something we’ve called for all along, among politicians too.  Why the Government isn’t listening to us, I don’t know – it’s about time it did."

The lobbying register is passing through Parliament as part one of the wider Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill, which has also been attacked for part two, which covers charity funding.

Last month the Cabinet Office quashed hopes that a pause in the progress of the bill through the House of Lords to further scrutinise the charity proposals could lead to a rethink on the lobbying register. 

With initial scrutiny concluded in the House of Lords this week following approval by the House of Commons, a report stage is set to follow in the New Year.

CIPR director of policy and comms Phil Morgan said: "MPs now seem to agree with what the industry has been saying. There are still more amendments that can be brought forward, and it would be good to think this polling could influence government thinking."

The credibility of the proposals also received a blow in terms of which parliamentary figures would be covered.

Forty-nine per cent backed a register that covered lobbyist contact with not just ministers and permanent secretaries as is currently proposed, but special advisers and MPs too.

This compares with 38 per cent who opposed the idea.

Overall, only 23 per cent supported the option of doing nothing in relation to regulating lobbying, but among Conservative MPs 43 per cent backed the idea.

The Cabinet Office had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publishing.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

EasyJet aimed to break the world record for the highest ever theatrical performance for Shakespeare's 450th birthday yesterday with the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing on a flight from Gatwick to Verona.

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Senior executives from IBM, Nestlé, Vedanta, GE, Cargill, Philips and Allianz will be among the speakers at PRWeek's first Global Congress.

Max Clifford trial jury reconvenes with majority verdicts direction

Max Clifford trial jury reconvenes with majority verdicts direction

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has reconvened after being told by the judge yesterday afternoon that he will now accept majority verdicts.

The latest social media fail case study: #myNYPD

The latest social media fail case study: #myNYPD

The New York Police Department's Twitter fail offers another social media lesson for organisations.