MPs ‘losing public trust’ over lobbying, says Commons sleaze watchdog


MPs are undermining public trust in democracy by failing to back tighter controls on lobbying, Parliament’s official sleaze watchdog has warned.

In a tough report the new Commons standards commissioner Kathryn Hudson criticised MPs for failing to endorse changes to the House of Commons code of conduct that have been languishing, without being debated, for over  six months.

The changes include new rules banning MPs with second jobs from initiating parliamentary proceedings, such as tabling amendments, in the interests of their employers.

Ms Hudson said it was vital the new code was voted on quickly to prevent public concern over the probity of MPs deteriorating still further in the wake of recent lobbying scandals. “The expectations set out by the codes provide one of the foundations for the trust which people have in those who are given power over their lives,” she wrote. “Without this trust democracy is threatened.”