Lobbying register minister Chloe Smith admits to lack of meetings

Minister Chloe Smith has admitted to not having held any meetings with interested parties regarding the Government's proposed lobbying register since taking on the brief last year.

No meetings held: Chloe Smith
No meetings held: Chloe Smith

The admission was made in an answer to a written Parliamentary question put by Labour MP Chi Onwurah last week.

The lobbying industry has made repeated attempts to engage with Smith, who was charged last September with producing revised proposals for the register.
Onwurah told PRWeek the lack of meetings was ‘amazing’, adding: ‘Many are concerned this Government is all talk and no action when it comes to lobbying. This answer would seem to prove they are not even talking.’

Francis Ingham, PRCA director general, said: 'It has been almost a year since the Government’s consultation closed and since then it has revealed absolutely nothing. This is surprising considering the Government’s proposals were universally dismissed as unfit for purpose. A statutory register must include all those who lobby professionally - including powerful in-house lobbyists.

'The Government needs to act now, otherwise it will be extremely hard to take its transparency agenda seriously.'

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