Monday, 3 June 2013

Unlock Democracy: Time To Take Action, Mr Cameron!

As you will probably be aware, political reform has leapt back onto the agenda again following revelations from the BBC and newspapers that Patrick Mercer MP and a number of peers have been caught in yet more “cash for lobbying” scandals.

In 2010, David Cameron said that lobbying was “the next big scandal waiting to happen” and yet did nothing for years. Will you write to him today to join our calls for him to finally take action now?

Just a few weeks ago, we warned that the government’s failure to introduce legislation on lobbying reform in the Queen’s Speech meant that the next lobbying scandal would be on David Cameron’s head. We believe we’ve been proven right. The years of dither and delay must have looked like a green light to any parliamentarian looking to make a quick buck by bending the rules.

The coalition are now saying they will take action by legislation for a lobbying register and a system for recalling MPs, but we need more detail and more reassurance than they’ve been willing to give so far.

The government committed itself to both a statutory register of lobbyists and introducing recall in 2010. Their proposals on lobbying were so inadequate that even the government minister at the time said they were not the government’s "considered view". Will the government insist on carrying on regardless, or will they listen to our concerns?

Governments are notoriously bad at promising action at the height of political scandals, only to find excuses to not do anything later. This time needs to be different. We need you to write to David Cameron today to put pressure on him to take action. The coalition really is in the last chance saloon on this; any more delay and the legislation will have little chance of getting through parliament in time for the next general election. Please write to him today:

Many thanks,

Peter Facey
Director, Unlock Democracy