The Budget 2010 says the Government will ‘limit the use of lobbying and public relations consultants by arms length bodies’.
Clearly, I owe my source a drink…
But devil of this plan is in the detail. A supplementary Budget document spells out that quangos ‘must not use public funds to employ external public affairs or other consultants to lobby Parliament or Government with the principal aim of altering government policy or to obtain increased funding’.
Is this the really tough crackdown that some have been calling for?
Martin LeJeune is one lobbyist who thinks not. According to the twittering Open Road boss the restictions are ‘pretty feeble in practice’.
Another lobbyist privately goes further: ‘There are so many ways around this rule… Pure grandstanding.’