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Committee to progress inquiry into APPGs with sessions investigating improper access

29 July 2021

The Committee on Standards have announced they will be progressing their inquiry into All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) when the House of Commons returns in September.

The Committee will continue their wide-ranging inquiry into APPGs, but the early stages of the resumed inquiry will focus in particular on investigating concerns around the risks of APPGs being used as a vehicle for improper access or influence by lobbyists or foreign governments.

The Committee intend to take oral evidence commencing in September, hearing concerns from expert witnesses on the alleged influence of foreign governments, and the influence of lobbyists in the context of APPGs.

The inquiry marks the first in-depth investigation into the informal cross-party groups since the Standards Committee previously reviewed them in 2013. Since then, there has been continual growth in the number of them operating across Parliament, with more than 700 APPGs now active.

Chris Bryant MP, Chair of the Committee on Standards, said:

“All Party Parliamentary Groups may be informal, but they can play a vital role in the work of Parliament and our democracy.

“Given the importance these groups have in the way Parliament develops policy, it is vital we ensure that all APPGs are run openly and transparently and that there is no conflict of interest or inappropriate use.

“I look forward to progressing this essential inquiry, and understanding and improving the work of All Party Parliamentary Groups across Parliament in the coming months.”

The Committee announced an investigation into APPGs in October last year, and have already taken a wide range of written evidence from academics, experts, and leading organisations including Transparency International UK and The Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

You can find out more about the inquiry into APPGs, including the terms of reference and evidence submitted so far, on the Committee on Standards Website.

Further information

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