Press release 22nd Sep 2015

Less Than 4% of Lobbyists Covered by UK Lobbying Register

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Related Publication

New report on lobbying from anti-corruption group finds UK lobbying regulation not fit for purpose

London, 22nd September 2015 – The public is still in the dark about who is trying to influence UK politics, according to Accountable Influence: Bringing Lobbying out of the Shadows a new paper from Transparency International UK.

Analysing the new UK Register of Lobbyists and data from Parliamentary registers of interests, the new research has found:

  • Less than 4% of lobbyists are covered by the Government’s new lobbying register – almost all lobbyists are completely unaccountable.
  • 8/10 of the most frequent lobbyists are from FTSE 100 companies – lobbying is dominated by the corporate world.
  • £3.4 million paid to 73 MP’s last year for external advisory roles – a significant risk of conflicts of interest.
  • Payments for Parliamentary advice is still allowed in the House of Commons, but prohibited in the House of Lords, Scotland and Wales – a major loophole in the rules

The findings come after detailed analysis of research across Westminster, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Nick Maxwell, Head of Research and Advocacy at Transparency International UK, said:

“Transparency helps to uncover and can deter corruption, however the public are left in the dark about who is trying to influence our political system”.

 “Lobbyists attempt to influence decisions that affect billions of pounds of public spending and millions of lives across the UK. Greater transparency about lobbying can help build confidence that the government is working in interests of citizens, rather than lobbyists.”

“The current lobbying register is entirely unfit for purpose, with less than 4% of lobbyists being covered by the register.”

“In many cases the rules themselves are weak. Payments to MPs for Parliamentary advice is still allowed, but prohibited in the House of Lords, Scotland and Wales. The House of Commons needs to catch up."

TI-UK has made 38 recommendations to legislatures across the UK including:

Statutory register of lobbyists should include both in-house and consultant lobbyists, as well disclose more information.

  • More accurate, accessible, intelligible and meaningful information should be published on lobbyists meetings.
  • An independent body responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance with the lobbying rules.

“Accountable Influence”, marks the launch of a new campaign from Transparency International UK, “Transparency Matters” to highlight the importance of transparency in the fight against corruption and the effect it has on our everyday lives.


Transparency International is the civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption

Media Contact:

Dominic Kavakeb

[email protected]

020 3096 7695/ 07964 560340

To read the report follow this link

To access the campaign follow this link

  Co-funded by the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union