Lobbying chiefs slam their own lobbying register

It’s fair to say that the new voluntary register of lobbyists has not exactly been a stunning success.

The register was set up earlier this year by the UK public affairs industry’s representative bodies in a bid to influence the statutory register which has been promised by the Coalition.   It provides basic details of who works for who, but contains no financial data.

Before it even went live the voluntary register was greeted with bad press and things didn’t improve when Labour’s Austin Mitchell piled in to attack the scheme.

Now it transpires that even the lobbyists themselves don’t like it.

I have got my hands on leaked minutes of a recent Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) management committee meeting. They reveal that a significant chunk of the meeting was spent criticising the register, which is being run by the UK Public Affairs Concil (UKPAC).

According to the minutes, APPC chiefs lamented that the new register (which they are bankrolling) contained ‘significant errors’.

The minutes continue: ‘Members expressed grave disappointment with UKPAC’s performance to date.’

Oh dear.

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