Conservatives intend to 'follow example of the US'

Paper reveals 'widespread expenditure on hiring public affairs firms to lobby government'.

The Conservatives have said they will introduce new financial controls on lobbying as part of a wider plan to scale back 'Whitehall spin'.

The Government Lobbying Government report put out by the Tories this week highlights 'widespread expenditure by central government bodies on hiring public affairs firms to lobby the Government'. Agencies including Weber Shandwick, Fishburn Hedges and Grayling Political Strategy are named as recipients of government cash.

The report states: 'Conservatives will follow the example of the US and impose new financial rules to stop such wasteful spending. Such a move is part of a wider Conservative policy of cutting expenditure on wasteful Whitehall spin.'

It says the Tories will issue 'guidance to prevent central public sector bodies from hiring external firms to influence allocation of government funds or legislative action'.

In a statement, shadow Cabinet Office minister Nick Hurd said: 'The hiring of lobbyists by government bodies to grab more cash is a financial scandal. No wonder the bureaucratic state has ballooned under Labour, given lobbyists are routinely in the pay of the Government ... Conservatives will put new rules in place to stop this outrageous waste of money.'

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