Inquiry Into UK Lobbying Industry

The U.K. Parliament's Public Administration Committee is set to launch an inquiry into the lobbying industry. PR Week reports that the inquiry will investigate "the transparency of the lobbying industry, the effectiveness of recent attempts at self-regulation, and whether the rules for those in Parliament and government should be changed." The committee has drafted ten questions it wants public comment on, including whether lobbyists should "be regulated by an outside body." The Association of Professional Political Consultants recently wrote to all MP's indicating support for the inquiry. However, possibly requiring lobbyists to be a member of their organization, rather than just agreeing to abide by the code of conduct, sparked criticism. "It turns an ethical debate into a thinly disguised attempt to secure commercial advantage for member companies," wrote Chris Whitehouse, the managing director of The Whitehouse Consultancy.