PRCA chief invites lobbying registrar to shadow member agency

PRCA director-general Francis Ingham has responded to confirmation that recent lobbyists are ineligible for the job of lobbying registrar by inviting the successful applicant to shadow a PRCA member consultancy to understand its work.

Francis Ingham: Concerned over restrictions around the lobbying registrar role
Francis Ingham: Concerned over restrictions around the lobbying registrar role

Today is the deadline for applications to the position of registrar, which was recently advertised by the Cabinet Office. The successful applicant will oversee the creation and management of the lobbying register stipulated by the Transparency of Lobbying Act.

Anyone who has been a consultant lobbyist or a minister in the past five years is ineligible for the job.

Ingham expressed concern that this would exclude "a valuable pool of candidates who actually understand the world of public affairs" and that the registrar needed to understand the act of lobbying in real terms.

"To that end, we would like to publicly invite the successful candidate to spend a period of job-shadowing at a PRCA member consultancy to gain valuable insight into the working world of the public affairs consultant," he said.

However, outgoing APPC chairman Michael Burrell took a different stance on the issue, saying it was important for the registrar "to be and be seen to be independent of both the public affairs industry and politicians".

He added: "Once the registrar is in place, we will, of course, be pleased where appropriate to offer our expert advice on how the industry works."

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