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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:45 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 5:45 pm, 13th January 2014

My Lords, I do not think the noble Lord can reasonably expect a blanket application. There may be reasons—I do not know what they might be—that are not malign as to why a particular group has not signed up. We already know that a majority of lobbying firms sign up to and adhere to the respective codes of conduct, but we believe that making it a statutory requirement would lead to unnecessary pressure and that what we are proposing has struck the right balance.

I have a lot of sympathy for the point the noble Lord is making but it would not be appropriate to make a sweeping general obligation on all future Ministers when you cannot foresee particular circumstances that would occur at any time or place. I believe we have struck the right balance. I urge the House to support the Government’s amendments and I urge the noble Baroness not to press the amendment in her name.