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Transparency International UK Response to Paterson Lobbying Allegations

30 September, London – In response to a story by The Guardian regarding alleged lobbying by Owen Paterson MP on behalf of paying clients, Steve Goodrich, Research Manager at Transparency International UK, said:

“These are deeply troubling revelations that merit a thorough and independent official investigation. Any finding that there has been lobbying to the exclusive benefit of a paying client would be contrary to the Commons’ code of conduct for MPs. The public are entitled to expect their MPs to be representatives of the public good, not lobbyists for hire.”

“Unfortunately, due to restrictions imposed upon the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone, we do not know if alleged breaches of the rules are being investigated until she determines a breach has occurred. The Commissioner for Standards has made clear that the ban on announcing investigations into alleged breaches of Parliament’s code of conduct is a ‘retrograde step’. Hiding news of investigations into alleged misconduct by MPs does nothing for public confidence in the ability of parliamentarians to hold their fellow members to account.”

***ENDS***

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