NEWS: APPC takes action to maintain integrity

Ian Greer Associates has resigned from the Association of Professional Political Consultants as the regulatory body takes further steps to overcome the fallout from the ‘cash for questions’ affair.

Ian Greer Associates has resigned from the Association of Professional

Political Consultants as the regulatory body takes further steps to

overcome the fallout from the ‘cash for questions’ affair.



In a letter to the APPC, Ian Greer - a founding member - linked the

firm’s departure to his resignation, earlier this month, as chairman of

IGA.



The news coincides with moves by the APPC to strengthen its ethical

safeguards, following the collapse of Greer’s libel case against the

Guardian.



The association has extended its code of practice to prohibit financial

links with sitting peers and MEPs, as well as MPs and public servants.

It has also explicitly banned member firms from making contributions to

political parties.



The APPC has also written to Tony Newton, Leader of the House, with its

views on industry regulation. Chairman Andrew Gifford advised Newton

that ‘recent events’ had underlined the need for a more formal system of

regulation for lobbying administered by Parliament.



In a separate letter to Newton, APPC secretary Charles Miller offered a

number of suggestions, including the regulation of all lobbyists by

Parliament-approved bodies, such as the APPC and the PRCA, and the

issuing of identity cards to regulated lobbyists. This would not, he

stressed, ‘grant privileged access’ but ‘could give MPs, and others

proof that advisers making representations to them were regulated’.



Meanwhile, the association is stepping up its marketing efforts, with

investigations into developing a new visual identity and the costs of

establishing a web site.



Letters, p9



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