Guido welcomes Labour’s new tough stance on lobbying after thirteen years of prostituting in government. They have outlined amendments to be put down to this week’s lobbying bill, amendments which include a change to ensure all professional lobbyists working in the UK will be required to declare their full list of clients and an approximate value of their lobbying activity. In an obvious dig at Crosby they will also demand that “anyone doing a senior job for the government of the day – whether in-house or a contractor, formally for the party or directly by the government – who is a professional lobbyist must be declared.” New appointments to government would also be scrutinised in a similar way to how senior officials or ministers leaving to take up posts in related areas have new their jobs put before a Cabinet Office committee. Solid stuff, but does this go far enough? Not at all.
Labour’s back-of-a-fag-packet announcement today does not take into account successful lobbyists that pay money directly to government figures. Surely, government MPs should for obvious conflicts of interest reasons have to resign from any union that financially supports them, and not accept money from them directly or indirectly to their constituency parties, whilst in government? Labour’s John Trickett said this morning:
“Labour is determined to stand up to vested interests and we will push amendments to the government’s lobbying bill that will once and for all clean up this aspect of politics.”
Except where their union paymasters are involved?