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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Lobbyists to be put under the cosh

This morning's Independent reveals that voluntary register of lobbyists is to be published today but already it has falled foul of accusations from transparency campaigners that it only features a small proportion of the controversial industry.

They say that the UK Public Affairs Council (UKPAC) is to publish details of firms and individuals who work in lobbying alongside lists of their clients. But critics claim that up to 90% of lobbyists are shunning the register and so will not be included.

This comes after years of demands for greater openness about who is trying to influence Government policy for whom. The paper rightly points out that MPs have raised concerns about the perceived "privileged access and disproportionate influence" wielded by lobbyists operating in the shadows.

Fortunately, the Coalition Government is committed to introducing a statutory register. Surely it is only a matter of time before it comes in.
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