24 March 2012

Tamasin Cave of the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency on today's alleged Cash for Cameron scandal:

"The filming by undercover reporters for the Sunday Times appears to shed light on a state of affairs long understand by the public, and frankly admitted by Cameron two years ago:

"Lobbying – we all know how it works", he said in a speech on rebuilding trust in politics. "The lunches, the hospitality, the quiet word in your ear... helping big business find the right way to get its way... with money buying power, power fishing for money and a cosy club at the top making decisions in their own interest."

But, the government's current plans to regulate lobbying are a joke, compared to the scale of the problem. As they stand, the proposals would touch only a quarter of the lobbying industry (and not the lobbyist, Sarah Southern, hired by the journalists, as she points out); and would require lobbyists to reveal no meaningful information.

Surely now Cameron can see the sense in bringing in real transparency in lobbying with a robust register. We urgently need to see who is lobbying whom, what they are seeking to influence and how much money they are spending.