Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:00 pm on 3rd September 2013.

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Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Chair, Regulatory Reform Committee 4:00 pm, 3rd September 2013

My hon. and learned Friend is absolutely right. Under no circumstances should politicians on either side of the House prostitute themselves to big money. Time and again that has happened. I shall not be partisan and list 13 years of Ecclestone and so on. Let us take a larger chunk of time. Over the past 100 years all political parties have been guilty, and that demeans this House. A number of colleagues have said that lobbying is an important function. It is, but we need to draw the line between open, transparent lobbying and closed, dirty lobbying that involves buying influence and lots of money.

When I read through part 3, I was quite surprised, given the history of union negotiations and strikes and the importance of numbers and votes, that this basic information is not already available. [Hon. Members: “It is.”] If, as Labour Members say, the information is already available, there is no additional burden so I am sure they will support part 3.