Page last updated at 17:01 GMT, Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Labour MP bids for lobbyists' register

John Cryer, the Labour MP for Leyton and Wanstead, has launched a bid to establish a public register of commercial lobbyists with access to Parliament.

He presented a bill to the Commons designed to regulate the industry, on 6 December 2011.

Mr Cryer told MPs it would not impede the "ordinary lobbyist - in other words, the ordinary constituent or member of the public who has a right to lobby his or her Member of Parliament".

He explained that it would help level the playing field for smaller local interests, such as residents and tenants groups, who were being squeezed out by corporations with greater "financial muscle".

Conservative MP for Shipley Philip Davis opposed the bill - but did not force a vote.

He was concerned that many organisations and MPs would become "lobby shy" as a result of the bill, arguing that discouraging lobbying altogether would lead to "poorer law making".

He also accused Mr Cryer of wanting to outlaw lobbying by commercial businesses, while maintaining the right of trade unions to do it.

The government has said it plans to launch a consultation on statutory regulation of lobbying "shortly", with legislation introduced next year, in the second session of Parliament.

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