Editorial: Building Westminster bridges

No sooner had the class of 1997 been issued with their Commons passes than one old Parliamentary lag was touting his book of tips for new arrivals.

No sooner had the class of 1997 been issued with their Commons

passes than one old Parliamentary lag was touting his book of tips for

new arrivals.



Top of his list is that incoming MPs should banish lobbyists from their

sight because, he says, their ’malign influence’ is the chief blight on

Parliament.



This will pose an interesting dilemma for 16 of the new intake - nine of

them Labour - who are former lobbyists. Let’s hope that they do not duck

the opportunity to set the activities of their erstwhile colleagues in a

proper context. For despite the fact that lobbying is an ancient and

honourable part of the democratic process, isolated instances of

’sleaze’ have severely tarnished the reputation of lobbyists. The

profession therefore urgently needs to build bridges with incoming

Parliamentarians.



New Labour, new lobbying.



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