CIPR welcomes Committee on Standards report on MPs Code of Conduct

A new report proposes MPs should be banned from "providing paid parliamentary advice, consultancy, or strategy services".

The Committee on Standards' 'Review of the Code of Conduct: proposals for consultation' - published yesterday - provides a review of the MPs Code of Conduct and includes recommendations to improve the timeliness and quality of Minister's transparency registrations. It calls for organisations employing MPs to provide a written contract making explicit their duties cannot include lobbying Ministers, Members or public officials on their behalf. This declaration should include providing advice about how to lobby or influence Parliament.

The report was published on the same day the Labour Party outlined their proposals for a new parliamentary watchdog to improve public standards and potential conflicts of interest, including details on second jobs.

Set out in a speech attended by the CIPR, deputy leader Angela Rayner, outlined how the proposed integrity and ethics commission would have more powers than the existing bodies it would replace. She also confirmed Labour would introduce all of the recommendations from the recent Committee on Standards in Public Life report and would ban Ministers from taking paid consultancy roles for five years after leaving office.

Rachael Clamp Chart.PR, FCIPR, Chair of CIPR Public Affairs
Report after report and proposal after proposal all reach the same conclusion as the CIPR; the rules on lobbying - whoever it is done by - are not fit for purpose and reform is needed. What we are now seeing is a serious and welcome effort from parliamentarians across all parties, to address the issue of public trust. 

The committee on standards recommendations, which will be debated and voted on, detail the improvements needed on scrutiny across parliament. Widening required transparency of information and publicly searchable data is long overdue and an important inclusion.

Labour's proposals are bold and lean to the matter of enforcement. Sadly, there is truth in the fact that the existing rules lack consequences when they are broken. We welcome the move to introduce a new independent system of enforcement and await more detail on the proposed commission and how it would work in practice.
Rachael Clamp Chart.PR, FCIPR, Chair of CIPR Public Affairs
  • The CIPR has previously contributed to a Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) report on MPs outside interests.
  • Read the CIPR's Lobbying Position Paper here.

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).