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Standards Committee to hear from public affairs and policy experts in APPGs investigation

10 January 2022

The Committee on Standards will on Tuesday hear evidence from a number of witnesses, including leading policy experts and public affairs professionals as they progress their inquiry into All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs).

The hearing will include evidence from:

  • Marisa Heath, Secretariat, APPG on Animal Welfare
  • Natascha Engel, Chief Executive, Policy Connect
  • Suzie Tucker, Head of Strategy and Communications, National Museum Directors' Council
  • Danny Stone MBE, Chief Executive, Antisemitism Policy Trust

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 report their findings to the House before Easter.

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 play a crucial role in the work of Parliament and our democracy, but they cannot be a backdoor means of peddling influence around the corridors of power without scrutiny.

“This is a matter that concerns us, which is why the House has introduced improvements in transparency about funding and support for APPGs - and there are clear rules on what has to be declared. We are keen to 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 as we progress our inquiry.”

Further information

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