Mr Redwood’s intervention during the debate on the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill, 9 September 2013

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Has the hon. Gentleman discussed his proposals with leading national charities, because they might not wish to have to register their people, who are legitimately campaigning for their charitable purpose?

Jon Trickett (Hemsworth) (Lab): I have—but I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman has done so. He might be well advised to meet with them first, before asking a question like that. Yes, I have met with the leading charities. I have also met with representative organisations of the leading charities, and I have made two things clear to them. First, if they employ lobbyists according to the definition that we want to introduce, they will have to be registered. Even the large representative organisations say that that is the right thing to do. We are talking about professional lobbyists. Throughout the country, in every neighbourhood and constituency, there is much excellent community and charitable work that is undertaken voluntarily, and that is not professional lobbying. We do not expect people who lobby us at our surgeries with a particular problem in their neighbourhood to have to register. However, if a large organisation such as a charity—I can think of some that spend £300 million a year; that is their turnover—has parliamentary consultants working for them or for third-party organisations that are lobbying Parliament in the material interests of that charity, that should be registered. The register will take only a few moments to fill in—it is not a particularly arduous task—and it is right that anyone who lobbies Parliament should be on it.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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