Press release 15th Sep 2016

Leaking of draft report reveals inadequacy in lobbying transparency

Dominic Kavakeb 
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London, 15th September 2016The leaking of a draft committee report, by a Member of Parliament to a private company, is unusual in shining a light on the extent to which corporate lobbying can produce privileged access to power.

The House of Commons Privileges Committee today suspended a Conservative MP for providing payday lender Wonga with an unpublished committee report. This underlines the importance of the recently tabled Lobbying Transparency Bill that would require, by law, lobbyists to reveal publicly their contact with public officials, including MPs.

Robert Barrington, Transparency International UK Executive Director said:

“This case shines a light on the secretive world of lobbying.  In this case, a lobbyist operating on behalf of a private company, was revealed to be securing hidden access to important information that could bring a commercial advantage. There needs to be greater openness over lobbyists' interactions with parliamentarians and public officials, so the public know who is lobbying who and on what issues.”

 “The real worry is that there is no way of knowing how common this sort of occurrence is and who else has been trying to influence important public decisions and debates. It’s time to bring lobbying out of the shadows.”