London,
07
March
2022
|
08:54
Europe/London

CIPR calls for urgent changes to lobbying regulations in light of Russian invasion

In light of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and attention on the influence and financial dealings of the Russian Government within the UK, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has written to the government calling for urgent reforms to lobbying legislation.

Current legislation provides a limited definition of what lobbying activity is undertaken to meet the registration threshold and does not require inhouse lobbyists as well as those not registered under the VAT Act to register. As a result, there is no way of knowing the true extent of those seeking to influence our politics, including those from outside the UK.

The Institute has called for urgent changes to provide greater transparency to support UK-based businesses that are being asked to review and take necessary action regarding their relationships with companies closely associated with the Russian state.

The CIPR has written to The Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Angela Rayner MP with its concerns.

Max Sugarman Chart.PR, MCIPR, Chair of CIPR Public Affairs

When the public look at the influence of Russian Government-linked businesses in the UK they are entitled to know how that influence impacts our political system and affects the choices we make as a country. We cannot talk about having a transparent political process when only a small number of lobbyists are required to register. We need a level playing field for all to give the public confidence in our political institutions and to give businesses and investors the information they need to be able to make decisions on who they work with and for.

Max Sugarman Chart.PR, MCIPR, Chair of CIPR Public Affairs

CIPR letter to The Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought to light many concerns regarding Russian Government influence and financial dealings within the UK. New legislation and public pressure means UK-based businesses are being asked to review and take necessary action regarding their relationships with companies closely associated with the Russian state.

The CIPR has long held concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding the rules on lobbying and the narrow definition of who is required to register on the Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists (ORCL). This includes concerns that current legislation does not require inhouse lobbyists to register as well as those not registered under the VAT Act. As a result, there is no way of knowing the true extent of those seeking to influence our politics, including those from outside the UK. 

The situation in Ukraine and the public discussion around the influence of Russian Government-linked businesses in our political system means the UK’s lobbying transparency rules must be as effective as possible. That means having a mandatory register that requires all UK-based and international lobbyists to sign up.

  • Visit our website to find out more about the CIPR's position on lobbying.
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About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the world's only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas with nearly 10,000 members.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).