Magazine article Public Finance

PASC Calls for Stricter Rules on MP Lobbying

Magazine article Public Finance

PASC Calls for Stricter Rules on MP Lobbying

Article excerpt

Senior MPs have called for tougher regulation and a statutory register of lobbying activity to make links between MPs and business more transparent

The Commons public administration select committee said on January 5 that former ministers were able to use knowledge and contacts built up during office 'with impunity' to lobby for causes they personalfy benefited from.

The PASC's first report on lobbying in 15 years called for tougher regulation by an independent watchdog. Currently, former ministers are expected to consult the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments when taking jobs connected to their former responsibilities.

The report said: 'We are strongly concerned that, with the rules as loosely and as variously interpreted as they currently are, former ministers in particular appear to be able to use with impunity the contacts they built up as public servants to further a private interest We think that this is unacceptable, particularly where they continue to be paid from the public purse as sitting members of Parliament The rules need to reflect this. …

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