CIPR urges Government to return to drawing board on Transparency of Lobbying Bill
On the eve of the second reading of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill 2013-14, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has condemned the proposed legislation as “very poor” and is calling on the Government to return to the drawing board.
The CIPR has actively campaigned on part one of the Bill (Registration of Consultant Lobbyists), and is seeking to replace the proposed limited and unsustainable register with a workable solution that would better reflect the nature of lobbying in the UK. The CIPR is also briefing MPs on the issues that arise in part two of the Bill, which seeks to tighten regulation around non-party political campaigning, and have called for the Government to provide strong evidence as to why such stringent restrictions should be placed upon organisations who continually work to enhance the democratic process and make it accessible for members of the public.
Our position on the failings of the Government’s proposed lobbying register is well established, but this should not be taken in isolation from the entire Bill. The proposed legislation is being rushed through without proper thought, engagement or effective consultation to back it up. We are completely in favour of well researched and thought out ways of increasing transparency in political processes in order to build a greater level of trust in our democracy, but this Bill is very poor and will not achieve that outcome.
As we confirmed at our appearance before the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee last week, the CIPR is ready to work with the Government on this Bill to produce workable proposals. The Government should go back to the drawing board rather than try to force this legislation through in the face of good advice from organisations including the NCVO and the Electoral Commission.
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).