APPC reviews sponsorship rules

The Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) is looking at amending its code of conduct to allow for sponsorship of political events by lobbyists’ clients, amid newspaper reports this week that Labour is raising money through its close relationships with lobbyists.

The Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) is

looking at amending its code of conduct to allow for sponsorship of

political events by lobbyists’ clients, amid newspaper reports this week

that Labour is raising money through its close relationships with

lobbyists.



As it stands, the code bans members from causing a client to give any

financial incentive to a representative or employee of Parliament or any

public servant or person acting on their behalf, apart from

entertainment and token business mementos.



APPC secretary, Charles Miller admitted: ’We’ve all broken that rule. If

approached by Government, lobbyists should be able to ask their clients

whether they are interested, but they can’t push anybody - a lobbyist’s

first duty is to the client.’



He added: ’Labour is increasingly wooing business directly through the

party’s business unit and not through lobbyists anyway’.



Reports in the Independent newspaper earlier this week questioned links

between Labour-connected lobbyists and the Government, which is believed

to have encouraged business sponsorship of events such as the recent

Welfare to Work roadshows.



It is widely acknowledged in the lobbying industry that, since the

general election, when several public affairs consultants left to go

into Government, well-connected Labour lobbyists and new recruits have

been hard to find.



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