From: email@example.com Subject: Please sign EDM 1637 on lobbying transparency Date: 9 July 2008 19:51:32 BST To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr James Duddridge MP
I’m very concerned about the influence lobbyists have over the decisions taken by the UK Government. Since the 1990’s the lobbying industry has doubled in size and has grown to be worth an estimated £1.9 billion a year.
There is no simple way of knowing who is lobbying Government and on what they’re trying to influence. The lack of transparency does nothing to assure me that Government is really being accountable to the UK public.
Please sign EDM 1637 and support calls for a mandatory register of individuals and organisations that are involved in lobbying MPs and civil servants, and also an enforceable code of ethics for lobbying activities to ensure their transparency.
9 Jul 2008
HOUSE OF COMMONS
LONDON SW1A 0AA
Mr Denis Walker
Our ref: RSE8241
22nd July 2008
Dear Mr Walker
Thank you for contacting me about Early Day Motion 1637, which concerns transparency in lobbying activities.
Let me begin by saying that legitimate lobbying is an important and justifiable part of the public policy-making process. I appreciate the concerns that you have about the possibility for undue influence on the part of corporate lobbyists. People and groups do however have the right to use them and it is part of our democracy.
As you may be aware, the House of Commons Public Administration Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into the lobbying industry. It is the first Parliamentary inquiry on the issue since 1991 and it is considering questions such as whether there should be external regulation of the industry.
Conservatives believe that we need to restore trust between people and politics. We will therefore closely consider the report of the Public Administration Committee upon the conclusion of its inquiry. Howeer, it would be inappropriate for me to sign Early Day 1637 at this time, prior to publication of that report.
You may be interested to know that Kenneth Clark MP is leading a Democracy Taskforce for the Conservative Party which is examining a range of issues that contribute to a healthy and accountable democracy. The Taskforce has already published several reports, including one entitled Trust in Politics which sets out proposals for restoring public respect in our political system.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to write to me.
James Duddridge MP