The government's Lobbying Act is a sham that will not open up the UK's £2 billion lobbying industry in any meaningful way.
As drafted, it's unlikely to force the PM's campaign adviser Lynton Crosby to reveal his corporate clients.
The government has excluded the vast majority of the industry from its register of lobbyists; and those that are covered by the new rules will not have to provide any meaningful information, merely a list of their clients. This is a fake transparency register.
A genuine lobbying register, as adopted by the US, Canada and other countries, would cover the whole of the lobbying industry and allow us to scrutinise:
• who is lobbying whom
• what they are seeking to influence
• and how much they are spending trying to do it.
ALT members Spinwatch and Unlock Democracy have put together a draft Bill for what a genuine register should look like in the UK. While we are not experts in drafting legislation, it is based on lobbying transparency regulations from around the world. It is intended to stimulate proper debate about what a UK lobbying register should look like.
The government's attempt at a register is a sham. It has been described as 'possibly one of the worse pieces of legislation ever to have been drafted'. Widely derided by the lobbying industry, transparency campaigners, politicians and the public, it will make lobbying less transparent not more.
The government is trying to fool the public into thinking that it is tackling lobbying, when this law does nothing of the sort. Please write to your local MP and tell them why you support a robust register of lobbyists.
Download our draft bill for what a genuine register should look like and tell us what you think.