Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, ahead of his speech on lobbying at the Unlock Democracy event this evening, said:
“The series of lobbying scandals under this Government are threatening our democracy and bringing Parliament into disrepute. In a democracy, government needs to be open to influence from all parts of our society from the smallest neighbourhood group to the largest commercial operators. One Nation Labour would act to ensure all parts of the lobbying system are open and transparent.
“Without robust statutory regulation, the perception will continue that big business, the powerful and the few gain access at the expense of ordinary hard-working people. In three years, David Cameron has failed to bring forward any meaningful proposals to regulate the lobbying industry and is trying to avoid strong legislation even now.
“Labour is absolutely clear on what needs to be done. Legislation should seek to stop all financial relations between lobbyists and those elected to positions of power. To do this we need an enforceable statutory register of lobbyists with a clear definition of lobbying. Such a statutory register should include all professional lobbyists, whether third party or not. It must have a clear code of conduct, and must be backed by strong sanctions in order for it to be effective.”