Lobbyists press for more regulation of their industry
Some of Britain's biggest lobbying firms are urging ministers to impose legal controls on their industry after the Government failed to include plans for a compulsory register of their members in the Queen's Speech.
Proposals for a statutory register of lobbyists were left out of the list of planned new laws, despite concerns about the "secret" influence wielded over Whitehall by businesses and special interest groups.
Campaigners for open government and lobbying groups themselves complained that the Government had lost interest in regulation despite a coalition agreement pledge to regulate lobbyists and a warning from David Cameron that lobbying was "the next big scandal waiting to happen". Lobbying groups insisted they continue to want a "universal" register.
Michael Burrell, chairman of the Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC), which maintains a voluntary register, said: "We're now in limbo as to exactly what the future holds with no clear direction of travel." But Tamasin Cave of the campaign group Spinwatch said the Government had to tackle a "£2bn commercial influence industry [which] operates almost entirely behind closed doors". She added: "To politicians, lobbyists help them do their job – they effectively subsidise our system. To the public they corrupt it, because lobbying privileges the wealthy and well connected."
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "Introducing a statutory register of lobbyists is a complex issue, and it is important we get it right. We are currently considering the way forward."
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Ottawa shooting: Canadian soldier dies after being shot at National War Memorial – with one gunman killed inside parliament
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali 2014: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Early Years supply teachers neede...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + bonus: Ampersand Consulting LLP: .NET a...
£110 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: English Teacher needed for ...
£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...