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Lobbying

a guest Jun 3rd, 2013 60 Never
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  1. This is going to be a bit of a wall of text, but I think it's worth getting over just how much of an issue lobbying is. Since David Cameron described lobbying as ‘the next big scandal waiting to happen’ in April 2010, all of the following happened:
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  3. — It was revealed that nearly 15% of new Tory MPs come from lobbying backgrounds.  (June 2010)
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  5. — The Lib Dems launched the 'Leaders’ Forum', an elite club of 50 lobbyists offered privileged access and face-to-face meetings with ministers (August 2011)
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  7. — The Liam Fox/Adam Werrity Scandal happened, culminating in Fox's resignation, with numerous revelations of companies and groups paying for access.  (August – October 2011)
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  9. — Lobbying firm Bell Pottinger  is recorded boasting of access to the heart of government including its ability to persuade David Cameron to speak to the Chinese premier on their behalf. (December 2011)
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  11. — It was revealed that companies were paying £1800 a head to attend ‘Chemistry Club’ events with ministers, advisers & MPs. (January 2012)
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  13. — A government 'independent adviser’ on reducing red tape revealed to have links to tobacco industry. (March 2012)
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  15. — The Daily Mirror reports that Conservative peers with ties to private healthcare are helping David Cameron push through controversial NHS reforms. (March 2012)
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  17. — Peter Cruddas resigns after offering ‘Premier League’ access to government in return for large party donations. (March 2012)
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  19. — Conservative peer David Maclean found to have lobbied on behalf of the Cayman Islands government. (April 2012)
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  21. — It was revealed that nearly 20% of Lords voting on NHS bill to have financial interests in private healthcare (April 2012)
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  23. — It was revealed that a senior aide to Cameron discussed Murdoch’s takeover of BSkyB with News Corp lobbyist, and Jeremy Hunt's close ties with James Murdoch discussed at the Leveson enquiry. Jeremy Hunt is also investigated over allegations that he failed to register donations from media firms, and attended private company's "networking events". (May 2012)
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  25. — Senior peers were shown to have failed to register business roles on the register of interests, including one who was advising a lobbying firm for five years. (June 2012)
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  27. — Department of the Environment and Climate Change adviser Miriam Maes was revealed to work part-time as a lobbyist attempting to influence that department. (September 2012)
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  29. — Sunday Times releases secretly-filmed footage of former military officers offering to lobby on behalf of the defence industry. (October 2012)
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  31. — It surfaces that Iain Duncan Smith’s adviser, Philippa Stroud, is being paid by the Centre for Social Justice, a think tank set up by Duncan Smith and one which lobbies his own Department of Work and Pensions. (November 2012)
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  33. — Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, and UUP peer resign the party whip, and Labour suspends Lord Cunningham and Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate from the party Lord Laird as details of a new lobbying scandal begin to emerge. (May 2013)
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  37. This isn't all the scandals. This is just a quick description of the specifically lobbying scandals since Cameron said  the above quote. For more details and links to news stories on each piece, see http://unlockdemocracy.org.uk/pages/a-scandals-timeline
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