Letter: Corporate Lobbying Is Damaging Our Politics

Article excerpt

Byline: A. Haydock

Dear Editor, The decision to review MPs' allowances places emphasis on wrongful gains made by individuals, but far more damage is being done by influence exerted on MPs, Lords and political advisors by corporate lobbying.

One, backed by a two-year campaign, is for the countrywide provision of school buses by transport company First Group, assisted by former education secretary David Blunkett MP and Lord Snape, its consultant.

Two years ago, First Group set up the Yellow School Bus Commission consultation on the future of home-to-school transport and the potential for American-style yellow school buses. David Blunkett, the chairman of the commission, records that he received from First Group" phased payments ofpounds 20,001-pounds 25,000, including facilitation of visit to the United States for myself and a member of my staff".

In September 2008, Jim Sheridan MP travelled to New York State and California on a fact-finding visit with hotel accommodation, meals and fares paid by First Group plc. …