Tory lobbying threat won’t change much until it translates in to action

So, the Tories have warned lobbyists that refuse to reveal their clients.

Francis Maude said: ‘Greater openness and transparency is needed to help ensure high standards in public life. If the industry fails to self-regulate, it should be prepared for legislation which will ensure greater accountability.’

The Tories have confirmed this means they want to see all agencies publishing client lists and staff names – ideally voluntarily.

That may be a tad optimistic. If self-regulation hasn’t happened yet, there’s no reason why should happen now. In fact, noises today from high up at one of the big ‘rogue consultancies’ indicate that life will carry on very much as normal. They will not be goaded in to revealing their full client list.

My hunch is that pigs will fly over Westminster before all lobbying consultancies agree to reveal all their clients voluntarily.

But if as promised the Tories force the issue, those same lobbyists will have no choice. It will be interesting to see the Tory manifesto…


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