LLM drawn into dispute over electoral reform

Lobbying agency Lawson Lucas Mendelsohn has been dragged into a row between the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (AEEU) and Make Votes Count, the group campaigning for a more proportional voting system to be introduced to UK general elections.

Lobbying agency Lawson Lucas Mendelsohn has been dragged into a row

between the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (AEEU) and Make

Votes Count, the group campaigning for a more proportional voting system

to be introduced to UK general elections.



A group of Labour MPs last week tabled an early day motion in the House

of Commons criticising the appointment of Lawson Lucas Mendelsohn by

Make Votes Count (PR Week, 9 April).



The motion, whose sole purpose is to raise parliament’s attention to an

issue, reads: ’this House ... is alarmed that LLM is not a member of the

Association of Professional Political Consultants and is therefore not

bound by its ethical code and condemns LLM’s threat of legal action

against the AEEU as an attempt to suppress debate on electoral

reform’.



The AEEU, Britain’s third largest trade union, is openly hostile to

proportional representation.



The move comes after LLM sent a solicitor’s note to the AEEU, which

alleged the union had received a leaked copy of its presentation

document for the Make Votes Count pitch.



LLM says the account, headed by Neal Lawson, is for media relations, not

lobbying.



The AEEU denies possessing a leaked copy of the agency’s pitch

document.



A senior AEEU source said: ’Whatever people’s views on electoral reform,

there is deep suspicion concerning the role of non-Association of

Professional Political Consultants lobbyists within the debate.’



MP Stephen Twigg, who supports Make Votes Count, described the issue as

a ’storm in a teacup’. LLM is not alone in staying outside the APPC.



Bell Pottinger public affairs and Lexington are among other

non-members.



Leader, p9.



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