Scotland can lead the way for lobbying transparency
Author: Zoe Stavri
Published on Sep 27, 2012
Last month, Westminster ignored our voices when more than a thousand Unlock Democracy supporters contributed to a public consultation about introducing a statutory register of lobbyists.
We’re trying to keep the pressure on, and remind new lobbying minister Chloe Smith of the importance of such a register, given the rash of lobbying scandals that have plagued Westminster.
Meanwhile, north of the border, a new hope rises. The culture of private lobbying and cash-for-access is less pronounced, and MSP Neil Findlay has launched a private member’s bill to ensure that it never takes root. As he puts it, "Lobbying it is an important part of the political process, but it must be conducted to the highest possible standards. To ensure this, I believe we require much greater transparency and disclosure about who is lobbying whom, and on what issues."
Neil Findlay is calling for a statutory register of lobbyists. He wants the bill to be the best it can be, so he’s put it out to public consultation.
People in Scotland have been presented with the opportunity to lead the way in opening up lobbying. We encourage the Scottish people to participate in the consultation. To make things easier for you, we’ve created a web tool to help you send your views to Neil Findlay MSP. We warmly thank those who have already participated
For those in Edinburgh, there is a public meeting in Scottish Parliament with Neil Findlay, Unlock Democracy’s director Peter Facey, Electoral Reform Society Scotland’s director Willie Sullivan and Spinwatch Scotland’s Will Dinan on Tuesday 25th October, so you can make your views heard in person.
As Westminster falls behind, Scotland can show the rest of the UK how it’s done. Will you participate in the consultation today?