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TI-UK Submission on a Statutory register of lobbyists

The cases cited in this paper suggest that UK politicians fail to see the risks of close relationships with lobbyists, and in particular resources-resources-business lobbyists, and are not able to maintain the safeguards that are essential to ensuring integrity. Politicians appear far too willing to accept corporate and media hospitality, refusing to acknowledge that, even if they are not engaged in anything untoward, such behaviour fails to meet the ‘appearance standard’ and thus erodes public trust.      

The coalition government has taken some steps in the right direction. It has changed the ministerial code to require ministers to declare all meetings with lobbyists and it has banned lobbying by former ministers for two years after they leave office. The next step should be to enact legislation in 2012/13 that would introduce a robust statutory register of lobbyists. A new regulatory regime for lobbying will help to ensure there is greater transparency and reduce the risk of corrupt lobbying activity.

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ADDITIONAL INFO

  • Report published: May 2012

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