U.K. Government Backs Self-Regulation for Lobbyists

The U.K. government has rejected a parliamentary committee's recommendation for the mandatory registration of lobbyists and the disclosure of their meetings with civil servants. The Cabinet Office dismissed the recommendation claiming that this “would involve collating a huge amount of information and divert significant resources within departments”. Nor did the Cabinet Office support the establishment of a mandatory register of lobbyists. Francis Ingham, the director-general of the Public Relations Consultants Association, welcomed the decision. David Miller from the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency dismissed the government's faith in self-regulation of lobbyists. “The government has shown it is not serious about political reform by allowing lobbyists to continue to self-regulate ... Asking the public to trust lobbyists to operate transparently is like asking us to trust MPs on expenses. Self-regulation is no regulation,” he stated.