Massive response to lobbying consultation
Unlock Democracy played a central role in organising a massive response to the government consultation on its proposals for a register of lobbyists.
The consultation was initially due to be launched in autumn 2011. Unlock Democracy organised a mass letter writing campaign to MPs to keep up the pressure on the government to publish its proposals. In December 2011, the civil servant in charge of lobbying tweeted "I wish unlock Democracy would die. I am prepared to help it along." - we took this to mean our campaign was very effective at keeping up the pressure!
Once the consultation exercise finally got under way, Unlock Democracy organised a mass response. It also held a series of public meetings around the country - including one meeting with the minister in charge Mark Harper.
Working with 38 Degrees, Spin Watch and other supporting organisations of the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency, we handed over a huge petition of over 74,000 signatures* from members of the public calling for an end to secrecy in lobbying, calling on the government to create a robust compulsory register of lobbyists, which would reveal who is lobbying whom, what is being discussed and how much money is being spent on lobbying. It also calls for the whole of the lobbying industry to be covered by the new rules, not just the minority of agency lobbyists that the government currently proposes.
Over 1,300 members of the public submitted full consultation responses to the government through Unlock Democracy's website.
Unlock Democracy also organised a letter to Mark Harper from a coalition of 28 charities and campaign groups, calling for the same.
Thanks to everyone who signed our joint letter.
* 7,342 people signed Unlock Democracy's joint letter; 67,451 people signed 38 Degrees' petition.