Documents to download

The Lobbying (Transparency) Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill introduced by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe (Labour). The Bill had its first reading on 24 May 2016 and is scheduled to have its second reading on 9 September 2016. The Bill would repeal Part 1 of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, the legislation which currently provides for a statutory register of consultant lobbyists, and replace it with a new statutory register covering a wider range of lobbying activity. 

Under the Bill’s provisions, both consultant lobbyists and in-house lobbyists from a wide range of organisations would be required to register. A person would be deemed to be engaged in ‘lobbying activity’ if they arranged or facilitated a meeting with a public official, or communicated with a public official, on matters relating to specified parliamentary business and specified government activities. The public officials covered by this definition of lobbying activity would include members of both Houses of Parliament and their staff, as well as staff of government departments, executive agencies, non-ministerial government departments, non-departmental bodies, and regulatory bodies. Currently, only consultant lobbyists who communicate personally with government ministers or permanent secretaries (or equivalent) are required to register. The Bill would require registrants to provide a greater range of information than is currently required, such as a summary of what was being lobbied on and who was being lobbied, an estimate of how much was spent on lobbying activity, and whether any of the lobbyists had held a public office in the ten years prior to the start of the lobbying.

The Bill would also introduce a statutory code of conduct for lobbyists. Currently, consultant lobbyists must indicate on their register entry whether they have undertaken to comply with a code of conduct, but there is no statutory code.

The current statutory register of consultant lobbyists was established in March 2015. The Government said in March 2016 that it had no plans to increase the scope of the register. However, the relatively narrow scope of the current legislation has been criticised and there have been calls for it to be replaced or strengthened. The Labour and Liberal Democrat parties both pledged to introduce an expanded registration regime for lobbyists in their manifestos for the 2015 general election.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • International Women’s Day 2024: Economic inclusion of women

    Economic disparities persist between men and women globally, with women generally facing lower pay, higher levels of informal employment, and more unpaid care work than men. Internationally, the UK government has made commitments to promote gender equality and economic inclusion, but concerns have been raised about the level of aid funding. In the UK, the government has expanded childcare places for working parents and supported private members’ bills to make changes to employment law.

    International Women’s Day 2024: Economic inclusion of women
  • Higher education: Contribution to the economy and levelling up

    The economic output of the UK higher education sector is estimated to be at least £116bn and graduates often experience better employment outcomes than non-graduates. Improving skills features in the government’s levelling up strategy and ministers have said that higher education institutions play a vital part in supporting regional economies. However, some stakeholders have criticised the government’s plans to restrict access to certain higher education courses and for not putting enough emphasis on the benefits provided by the sector.

    Higher education: Contribution to the economy and levelling up