Revealed: who let the lobbyists in to parliament

Lots of appearances from lobbying firms in today’s list of external bookings for the Commons dining rooms, courtesy of Sir Thomas Legg.

The newly-relased document lists those dining facilities in the Palace of Westminster that were hired by members of parliament to host events for outside organisations.  This list covers the period from 1 April 2004 to 30 September 2009, and runs to 181 pages.

The Guardian observes that David Cameron hosted a tea event for the West Oxfordshire Lady Freemasons on 28 October 2008: ‘The records show that the event was held in dining room C and 14 people were expected.’

Sounds like a hoot.

Meanwhile, the lobbying firms making the most appearances on the list appear – at first glance – to be Edelman and Lexington Communcations. Other agencies to show up on the list include Bell Pottinger, Connect Public Affairs and Burson Marsteller.

We also get to find out who let them in the building…

More on this later. Strangely, however, none of the lobbying firms seem to have been let in after 2007.

Why not? What did they do?

UPDATE: Tamasin Cave of Spinwatch notes that lobbying firm Political Intellingence is a contender for most frequent visitor to the Palace dining rooms, as it appears to have been allowed access by MPs on no fewer than 11 occasions. But again no dinners after 2006…

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