Lobbying has once again hit the headlines this week with some senior MPs being secretly filmed apparently offering their services in return for payment. After Cameron declaring that lobbying was the ‘next big scandal waiting to happen’ at the beginning of his premiership, this is yet another story of the impact that lobbying has had (see earlier blog posts about Patrick Mercer).
It should be made clear that parliamentarians can accept money for doing second jobs, but they are categorically not allowed to accept money for carrying out responsibilities associated with their job as an MP as they are already compensated for this.
This is a really useful example for pressure groups showing the influence that a group with a large amount of money at it’s disposal can do. It is also interesting that as the end of this Parliament approaches, the Coalition have still failed to act on their Coalition Agreement pledge to look into lobbying (Coalition Agreement, page 21, “We will regulate lobbying through introducing a statutory register of lobbyists and ensuring greater transparency.”). This could also therefore be used as evidence for a mandate (or not) given that the Coalition Agreement was not what the public voted on in 2010.