Update: here’s exactly what Jeremy Hunt said “We have said there needs to be statutory register of interest so that everyone knows precisely what lobbying companies are doing and who they lobbying on behalf (sic) and I think the other thing we need is total transparency so people know who their mps have been seeing.”
During the 38Degrees/Guardian people powered debate, the Conservative Shadow Culture Secretary, Jermey Hunt confirmed that the party now backs a statutory register of lobbying interest.
Labour and the Liberal Democrats already supported a compulsory register of lobbyists, but until today Conservative policy was to favour the lobbying industries preferred option – self-regulation – described by lobbying transparency campaigners described as “woefully inadequate”.
In the face of growing opposition, including thousands of 38 Degrees members signing a petition to David Cameron, the Conservatives have caved in. Jeremy hunt confirmed twice on air that Conservative policy is to favour a “statutory register”.
We’ll update this post as soon as we hear more.
About a Statutory register:
This would require all lobbyists to make public who they are, who they are lobbying for and which areas of public life they are seeking to influence. A register would provide the much needed public scrutiny of who has the ear of this or any future government. You can find out more here.