Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, commenting on plans to reform lobbying, said:
“David Cameron is simply wrong to attempt to conflate the issues of party funding and cleaning up the lobbying scandal. It’s a shabby and panicked way to deal with such an important issue facing our democracy.
“The best way to proceed if you want to take big money out of politics and clean up the lobbying scandal is to act on a cross-party basis. Labour has called for immediate cross party talks on the introduction of a statutory underpinning for a code of conduct for lobbyists since the start of this Parliament.
“Such a statutory register should include all professional lobbyists whether third party or not. It will have to have a code of conduct, the first line of which should be to forbid financial relations between lobbyists and Parliamentarians. Any code of conduct must be backed by strong sanctions in case of any breach in order for it to be effective.
“In a democracy government needs to be open to influence from all parts of our society, from the smallest neighbourhood group to the largest commercial operators, and so there is a crucial role for lobbying. But it needs to be transparent, accountable and appropriately regulated.”