Cameron faces calls to crack down on network of secretive lobbyists

 

Share
Related Topics

David Cameron faces growing pressure to introduce a law that requires political lobbyists to reveal who they are and whose interests they are promoting, as the Metropolitan Police yesterday confirmed it was considering whether to open a fraud investigation into Adam Werritty, a friend of the former Defence Secretary Liam Fox, pictured together below.

Mr Werritty is suspected of being a covert lobbyist and the Labour MP John Mann has asked whether he fraudulently posed as a government adviser while promoting commercial interests.

Before Mr Cameron became Prime Minister, he warned that "secret corporate lobbying" could be the next major political scandal, after MPs' expenses, but since entering Downing Street he has not shown any sign of putting his words into action, although the idea of compelling lobbyists to register has support from the main political parties and from major lobbying firms who abide by industry-imposed rules.

The lobbying industry agreed to regulate itself after a series of scandals in the 1990s, including the "cash-for-questions" affair, when it was revealed that MPs were being paid to ask parliamentary questions for commercial interests. Under its rules, lobbying must be transparent.

A report by the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell, published tomorrow, is expected to reveal whether Adam Werritty was involved in commercial lobbying during any of the 18 foreign trips he undertook with the Defence Secretary or his 22 meetings at the Ministry of Defence.

Had there been a statutory register of lobbyists in place, it would have been illegal for Mr Werritty to carry out such activity without declaring it. But it is unlikely that he would have been bound by the industry's rules, as he is not a registered lobbyist.

Yesterday, Labour made a statutory register official party policy. The shadow Cabinet Office minister Gareth Thomas said: "The Government should bring forward plans for a compulsory register of lobbyists."

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

RE Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Teacher of Religious Education ...

A Level Chemistry Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: A Level Chemistry Teacher - Humb...

NQT Secondary Teachers

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is actively r...

ICT Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: ICT Teacher - Scunthorpe This r...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Political Editor: Cameron's unexpected tax pledges give the Tories home advantage

Andrew Grice
President Barack Obama walks with U.S. Secret Service agents to Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, Calif., May 8, 2014.  

Obama's Secret Service has become sloppy with its delusions of Hollywood grandeur

David Usborne
Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence