CIPR writes to minister on lobbying definition
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has written to Mark Harper MP, Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform, in response to the Government’s consultation “Introducing a Statutory Register of Lobbyists.”
The letter, which supports the CIPR’s response to the consultation, addresses the question of how lobbying should be defined in the legislation that will govern the register. The CIPR believes the register should be underpinned by a strong definition of lobbying as an activity and proposes what could be a basis for the legislation that will define the success or failure of the register.
The CIPR commissioned a Parliamentary Draughtsman at Berwin Leighton Paisner to advise on a definition as a starting point for a working group, drawn from the industry and government, that could then recommend a suitable way forward prior to drafting the legislation.
Commenting, CIPR CEO Jane Wilson said:
The definition of lobbying used in the legislation will determine how successful the statutory register of lobbyists will be. In our response we highlight why we think the Government’s proposals, as set out in the consultation document, are unlikely to stand the test of time. Now the consultation has closed, the Government should decide on its approach to the register and then continue to engage with the industry in a focused discussion, taking a serious look at how a definition will work in a statutory context. We have put forward a proposal to start that discussion which broadly reflects our view that the register should be universal and the definition should focus on the act of lobbying. We accept that not everyone shares this position, but the important thing now is to move the debate on.
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).