The Institute of Public Relations, which represents individual PR
practitioners, is to set up a task force to draw up a code of conduct for
The move is a response to Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Sir
Gordon Downey’s report, published last week, into the cash for questions
’As a result of the lessons learned from the report and the events it
covers we hope that Parliament will work with the Institute and other
sections of the government relations world to produce a set of simple but
effective rules to regulate the activities of members of both houses and
the industry itself,’ said IPR president Simon Lewis.
The IPR task force would include industry interests and specialists and
members of both houses. It would make recommendations on a code of
conduct, to be regulated by Parliament. The recommendations would be sent
to the leaders of both Houses and the Office of Public Service, which
deals with the machinery of government and standards. It would also
consider options such as a register of clients, and building on existing
The IPR hopes to assemble members for the task force by September and
present its recommendations by Christmas. Members of the Institute already
sign up to a code on joining it, and Lewis believes the IPR rules could be
used as a model for any industry-wide code.
The European parliament already has a code governing lobbyists. It
provides for transparency in dealings between members and those
representing their own or third party interests, and sets out clear
provision in respect of the financial interests of MEPs.