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Lobbying (Transparency)

Volume 532: debated on Thursday 8 September 2011

As my hon. Friend the Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform announced on 18 January, the Government remain committed to creating a statutory register of lobbyists and are working towards developing proposals for that register. The Government hope to hold the consultation exercise later this year before bringing forward any necessary legislation in due course.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that answer. Given the erosion of trust among the public in politics and politicians over the past few years, will he ensure that that process proceeds as quickly as possible and tell the House precisely when the register will be in place?

I am grateful to the hon. and learned Gentleman and I entirely agree with him. This is a priority issue and we need such a degree of transparency in the arrangements for lobbyists. As I said, we have a consultation exercise and it would be wrong for me to prejudge it, but it is certainly our hope and intention that we will be in a position to introduce legislation on this matter in the next Session of Parliament, as has been indicated by my hon. Friend the Minister.