I am surprised that the hon. Gentleman is unaware of two things: first, that a consultation took place on the issues relating to a statutory register of lobbyists in January 2012 and, secondly, that the Labour party did not respond to that consultation, so seriously did it take it.
The introduction of a statutory register of lobbyists will fulfil a commitment made in “The Coalition: our programme for government”. There are two key principles reflected in the Bill. The first is that transparency is central to accountability and that the public should be able to see how third parties seek to influence the political system. The second is that third parties should act in an open and accountable way. The Bill will give the public more confidence about the way third parties interact with the political system, including about how much money they spend on political campaigning, especially if they seek to influence elections directly.