20 April 2012

Today, as the official consultation on proposals to introduce transparency regulations for lobbyists comes to an end, campaigners sent a big message to the government calling for it to rethink its plans.

Members of Unlock Democracy and 38 Degrees handed over a huge petition of over 74,000 signatures from members of the public calling for an end to secrecy in lobbying.

The petition calls on the government to create a robust compulsory register of lobbyists, which would reveal who is lobbying whom, what is being discussed and how much money is being spent on lobbying. It also calls for the whole of the lobbying industry to be covered by the new rules, not just the minority of agency lobbyists that the government currently proposes. 

Over 1,300 members of the public submitted full consultation responses to the government through Unlock Democracy's website.

Campaigners also handed over a letter to Mark Harper, the Conservative minister responsible for introducing the news rules, from a coalition of 30 charities and campaign groups, calling for the same: a robust register that includes meaningful information, covering all professional lobbyists. Many of the signatories are lobbyists themselves and expect to be covered by the register.

The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency has also just submitted its response to the consultation. It can be downloaded here.