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
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.