The government has only just dismissed calls for one lobbying clampdown, when along comes another.
Last week, the government batted off the public administration select committee’s calls for a mandatory register of lobbyists. Instead, the industry has now been told to go away and somehow develop a wide-ranging voluntary register of all lobbying activity.
Personally, I’m not holding my breath for that to happen.
Now, the government has been advised to set up an independent watchdog for the House of Lords and ban peers from paid lobbying in a package of measures aimed at ending a culture of ‘peers for hire’.
An independent inquiry by the former Archbishop of Armagh, crossbencher Lord Eames, recommends measures including asking peers to sign an undertaking to abide by the new code of conduct on entering the Lords and at the start of a new parliament.
The Lords will debate the proposals on 30 November.
I’m sure that Lord Bell and Lord Clement Jones will be paying close attention…