CIPR thrashes out lobbyist register with minister
CIPR Public Affairs (CIPR PA) debated the Government consultation on a statutory register of lobbyists with Cabinet Office Minister Mark Harper MP this evening. During the discussion the Minster was presented with the results of a recent survey of CIPR PA members. The meeting was the first such event since the proposals were published last month.
The survey revealed that 70% of respondents support a universal register that includes everyone engaged in professional lobbying, including in-house public affairs practitioners, a group which the consultation suggests could be exempted. It also amounts to a clear rejection of proposals that might allow trade unions, freelance, charities and think tanks a ‘good cause exemption’.
An independent body with industry representatives was the most popular suggested means of running the register and most respondents agreed that non-compliance should result in being struck from the register. More than 80% of those surveyed felt that lobbyists not on a statutory register should not have access to lobby government.
The results of the survey will guide the CIPR’s responses to the consultation on a statutory register and to the call for evidence from the Political Reform Select Committee.
Iain Anderson, Chair of CIPR PA commented:
The Minister is obviously keen to hear the views of the industry and CIPR PA welcomes the opportunity to be a sounding board as the consultation process continues. CIPR PA welcomes a policy consultation which makes it clear that it values lobbying and does not want to overburden the industry with excessive regulation. Transparency is the CIPR's guiding principle in professional conduct and we have long held the view that the public affairs profession has nothing to fear from a statutory register. It is the view of our members that universality is key.
Notes to editors
About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.
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).