Lobbyists to come under spotlight at Labour conference

Some of the UK's biggest lobbying agencies will come under the spotlight next week when a controversial new publication is launched by campaigners for greater transparency in the industry.

John Grogan: Labour MP
John Grogan: Labour MP

Members of the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency (ALT) will unveil 'a guide to the PR and lobbying industry in the UK' at the Labour Party conference.

A source at the ALT said: 'The booklet takes you on a tour of some of the major players in the industry, reveals some of their common techniques and tactics, and examines the links between their lobbyists and UK politics'.

It will be launched at an ATL fringe event that will 'examine the ethics of the industry and whether rules should be introduced to open lobbying up to more public scrutiny'.

The fringe session will also see Labour MP John Grogan will go head-to-head with Weber Shandwick's UK public affairs chairman Jon McLeod. It takes place at 7pm on Monday 22 September at The Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess Street.

The ALT's event is one of two sessions that will focus on the role of lobbyists. The Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) is also hosting a fringe event entitled: 'Licence to operate? A debate on the future of the public affairs lobbying industry.'

Speakers include Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins, a member of the Commons public administration select committee which is preparing to publish a report on the lobbying indsutry.

The APPC event takes place at 8am on Tuesday 23 September at The Dods Marquee.

Meanwhile, Bell Pottinger Public Affairs is co-hosting a reception with The Fabian Society, it has emerged. The agency has teamed up with the Fabians after dropping plans to host a champagne reception at Labour's conference for the first time in years. Instead, agency chair Peter Bingle has opted to hold the champagne reception at the Conservative conference the following week.

The Fabian reception is invitation-only and takes place at 10pm on Sunday 21 September.

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