Government misses latest deadline for lobbying reform plans
The government has failed to publish its proposals for a statutory register of lobbying activity 30 days after the Prime Minister assured the House of Commons it would be published “in the next month”.
This marks the latest missed deadline after junior Cabinet Office minister Mark Harper promised the proposals would be published in November 2011.
Commenting on the situation, Director of Unlock Democracy Peter Facey said:
"The government appear to be in disarray on this issue, despite lobbying transparency forming a core part of the coalition’s joint reform agenda.
"In the run up to the 2010 election, David Cameron warned that lobbying was ‘the next big scandal waiting to happen’. He was proven correct with the debacle which engulfed Liam Fox’s career last autumn. Yet the lack of urgency in Cameron’s government to take action on this has been astonishing.
"Nick Clegg has exempted himself from taking an active role in this policy area due to his wife’s work in the lobbying sector, meaning that it has been left to a junior minister to take the lead. Up until now, it is clear this low priority approach has not been working. It is time David Cameron himself took a lead. Otherwise, this latest pledge to publish plans ‘in the next few weeks’ will be in danger of becoming a matter of months or even years.”
- Mark Harper promised to publish lobbying proposals in November following the Liam Fox scandal: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-10-27a.76977.h
- David Cameron promised to publish lobbying proposals “within the next month of 14 December”: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16181448
- Mark Harper promised, on 10 January, to publish the proposals “within the next few weeks”: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2012-01-10b.88320.h