Lobbyists applaud Labour scheme to scrutinise donors

The lobbying industry has welcomed Labour Party plans for improved vetting of political donors.

The party plans to set up a six-member committee to scrutinise donations and ensure Labour is aware of any conflicts of interest between its backers and party policy.

Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) executive Michael Burrell said the body believes 'transparency is the key' to avoiding controversy in donations: 'To the extent that this is a move in the right direction, we welcome the measures,' he said.

PRCA public affairs committee chairman Simon Nayyar added: 'We support any measures to promote greater confidence in the funding of political parties.'

However, Burrell added that members would need to exercise caution in recording activity that Electoral Commission rules would deem to be a donation, such as booking tables at Labour events.

He said: 'I suspect it will make companies more cautious about making donations.'

The committee, headed by Labour fundraiser Lord Levy and party chairman Charles Clarke, will record details of all contact between donors and party staff. Donors would sign a statement that their donation was not for their own gain.

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