Whilst Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly voted Remain in 2016 and against a WTO Brexit in April 2019, he was elected on a mandate to ‘Get Brexit Done’ a year ago. Guido was surprised, therefore, to see he has given a parliamentary pass to a pro-Remain lobbyist from the Best for Britain campaign group, founded by Gina Miller. Djanogly lists his top member of staff as Daniel Paterson, currently a PR man for Best for Britain, which he describes as “a civil society campaign to keep the door open to EU membership.”
Paterson is a former European Parliamentary staffer in Brussels, current executive member of the Conservative Group for Europe, and managed Dominic Grieve’s failed independent campaign in the 2019 General Election. Curiously, he does not list working for Djanogly or in Parliament on his LinkedIn page, and instead works in what his company describes as “the heart of Brussels” for EU public affairs and business consultancy practice Ridens.
It is no longer standard practice for dodgy public affairs practitioners to get hold of parliamentary passes. In the UK, the Public Relations and Communications Association has stated “it is simply wrong for a lobbyist to hold a Parliamentary pass”, prohibiting it in their code of conduct. MPs are not allowed to give passes to commercial operators or receive any payments. Why exactly has Djanogly handed Paterson a pass, when he’s based in Brussels and doesn’t even list currently working in the House of Commons on his resume?