Government faces questions from Tories over lobbying reform plans

The Government is refusing to say when it plans to introduce greater transparency into lobbying.

Conservative Party chairman: Francis Maude
Conservative Party chairman: Francis Maude

The public administration select committee called for a mandatory register of lobbyists in a report back in January. The Government's response was due in March - but it has still not emerged.

This week, the Conservatives pressed the Government on the issue. In a written parliamentary question, Conservative Party chairman Francis Maude asked 'which interested parties the Government has consulted'. He also demanded to know 'when [the minister] plans to respond to the first report of the public administration select committee'.

Cabinet Office minister Angela Smith replied: 'The Government has consulted a range of interested parties, including practitioners and policymakers in the lobbying industry, the voluntary and charitable sector and the OECD. The Government plans to respond to the report from the Public Administration Select Committee on lobbying shortly.'

Two months ago, Smith said the Government hoped to make an announcement on lobbying before the summer recess, which got under way on 21 July.

As reported on prweek.com (2 July), she told the public administration select committee: 'I'd like to get the response to you as soon as possible. I would aim for before the recess.... I really want to get it out before the recess.'

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