Lobbying firms face a tougher time gaining access to ministers and
departmental officials under a Labour Government.
The prediction from Lord McNally, director of public affairs at
Shandwick Consultants, comes despite his view that the next Parliament
will also contain ‘a record number of former lobbyists’.
McNally claimed any new Labour Government is ‘likely to try to portray
sleaze, and with it lobbying, as a manifestation of the old Tory
‘Some new ministers may ban departmental contact with lobbying firms or
refuse contact themselves,’ he said. ‘BecauseLabour MPs think such
restrictions hurt the Tories more, further limits may be put on external
activities or new demands made for greater transparency concerning
outside earnings. We may be in for a period of pettiness and ‘holier
than thou’ attitudes to lobbying.’
Mc Nally urged the lobbying sector to re-inforce its legitimacy by
establishing a full register of lobbying firms and lobbyists working in
Whitehall and Westminster, including those working for foreign
governments and organisations.
A critic of the impact of the Nolan report on MPs’ outside interests,
McNally also claimed the lobbying industry ‘could do a great deal for
its own respect if it could unite its representation with a single
professional body, preferably a Chartered Institute of Public