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Should lobbying rules be stricter? MPs to question UK lobbying watchdog and industry representatives

10 November 2022

The head of UK lobbying watchdog, Harry Rich, will be questioned by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, as the Committee continues its post-legislative scrutiny of the Lobbying Act 2014.

In his written evidence to the Committee, Harry Rich, who is in charge of the register of consultant lobbyists, called for tougher rules around ministerial and official meetings with lobbyists.

Various organisations, Transparency International (who gave evidence in the previous session of the Committee’s inquiry), have argued that the current rules around lobbying of Ministers and government officials leave most of the industry unregulated. 

Representatives of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) will be asked about their organisations’ view that in-house lobbyists should also come under the auspices of the Lobbying Act, as only ‘consultant’ lobbyists are currently required to register under the Act. The suggestion that think tanks, charities, trade bodies and NGOs should also be include in the scope of any reformed lobbying rules will also be probed.

MPs are also likely to inquire as to whether legislation should be broadened to include the activities of other Senior Civil Servants rather than just Permanent Secretaries, as currently only the most senior officials are required to disclose the meetings they have with people or groups involved in lobbying. 


 Tuesday 15 November in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House

At 10.00am    

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

At 11.00am (approx.)

  • Harry Rich, Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists, Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright