Who's Lobbying Blog

February 27, 2012 at 8:59am

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6,700 disclosed ministerial meetings, less than 20 with lobbying firms

Less than 20 ministerial meetings disclosed by UK government departments have been with lobbying firms, from over 6,700 meetings disclosed between May 2010 and June 2011.

Mark Harper MP, Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform, has consistently stated the purpose of the proposed statutory register of lobbyists is to increase public transparency. In particular:

“‘When an in-house representative from a company comes to see me, the public knows what’s happening and that is transparent. If someone from an agency comes to see me, no-one knows who they’re advocating for – and that’s not transparent.” — source: PRWeek


Mark Harper MP, Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform, has consistently stated the purpose of the statutory register of lobbyists, as currently proposed, is to increase public transparency. Photo by Cabinet Office, some rights reserved.

Given there are so few disclosed government meetings with lobbying firms, would it not be easier if government simply disclosed further details of those meetings?

There are at least 93 lobbying firms in the UK according to APPC and PRCA public affairs registers (it’s voluntary for lobbying firms to be members of these organisations).

The public has an interest in what issues these firms are lobbying on for which clients, and how much they are being paid to do so. That is the sort of information you’d think the government should be proposing to include in its plans for a statutory register.

You can view the government’s disclosed ministerial meetings with lobbying firms here: http://whoslobbying.com/uk/lobbying_firms.