Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill — Report (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 13th January 2014.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Tankerness Lord Wallace of Tankerness Lords Spokesperson (Attorney General's Office), The Advocate-General for Scotland, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Lords Spokesperson (Scotland Office), Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords 3:30 pm, 13th January 2014

I am grateful to my noble friend for asking that question. I have not said that we will publish the minutes of meetings; the example I gave showed that we would record the detailed nature of what the meeting was about. I hesitate to use the word “subject matter”, because until now that term has also covered “catch-up meetings” and “introductory meetings”. It is not anticipated that we would publish minutes of such meetings. If a meeting had taken place on fracking, I do not think that any clarification would be needed between the Minister and the company as to whether the meeting was about fracking. It is not proposed that minutes would be made available, but there may be other ways—under, say, freedom of information provisions—in which other information might become available. None the less, what we are committing to today takes our commitment as a Government that much further. Ours has been a listening response, and I believe that it will do far more for transparency than—