Top Tory tells lobbyists: back off!

Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps has sent a rather interesting letter to PRWeek, in response to a recent story about The Association of Home Information Pack Providers hiring a lobbying firm. It reads:

“The Association of Home Information Pack Providers is perfectly entitled to hire whoever they want to further their trade association’s ends. But paying Quintus ‘to shift Conservative opposition’ to Home Information Packs is not going to be one of their most successful commissions…

“We have always opposed this unpopular red tape and it is important that the housing industry has the certainty of knowing our plans for change. Political parties have a duty to listen and engage. But there is a broader lesson here for the public affairs industry: last minute attempts to ‘change the manifesto’ and expect a U-turn on a party’s established and consistent policies are unlikely to succeed.”

Why are the Tories so keen to distance themselves from the lobbying industry?  

Surely nothing to do with a leading lobbyist suggesting that his clients could shape the Conservative manifesto for the general election…

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