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Committee to hear from public relations and transparency experts in APPGs investigation

10 September 2021

The Committee on Standards will on Tuesday hear evidence from a number of witnesses, including transparency specialists and the leading professional bodies for public relations practitioners, as they progress their inquiry into All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs).

Witnesses

Tuesday 14 September

At 10am

Panel 1

  • Harriett Baldwin MP, Chair, British Group Interparliamentary Union
  • Alex Runswick, Senior Advocacy Manager, Transparency International UK

At 10.45am

Panel 2

  • Harry Rich, Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists

At 11.15am

Panel 3

  • Jon Gerlis, Public Relations and Policy Manager, Chartered Institute of Public Relations
  • Liam Herbert, Chair (Public Affairs), Public Relations and Communications Association

The public evidence session comes as the Committee continues its wide-ranging inquiry into APPGs, focusing 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 will be undertaking further evidence sessions in the coming weeks before reporting their findings to the House.

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.

Chair's comment

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

“All Party Parliamentary Groups may be informal, but they can play a crucial 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 hearing from our witnesses on Tuesday, and further 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.

Further information

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