Cameron Can't Be Trusted on Transparency

Alexandra Runswick | Posted 12.04.2016 | UK Politics
Alexandra Runswick

So, the PM's is in. The Chancellor's too, but a bit trimmed. Boris' is much bigger. Corbyn's was late. Many are unremarkable. What real difference has it made that that our political leaders have published details of their tax affairs? Not a lot.

Government Should Encourage Charities to Challenge and Campaign for and Against Policy - Not Seek to Stifle Them

John Tizard | Posted 08.02.2016 | UK Politics
John Tizard

Last year, charities were threatened with the Lobbying Act's "gagging clauses", and now we learn that the Government wants to prevent charities using public money to participate in contemporary debates on public policy.

TTIP: A Double Edged Sword?

Ciara Kelleher | Posted 14.09.2015 | UK Politics
Ciara Kelleher

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is an exciting new prospect for 2016. It is a proposed free trade agreement between the United Stat...

Speak Up About Climate Change for the Sake of Those You Love

Sophie Dodgeon | Posted 10.06.2015 | UK
Sophie Dodgeon

When it comes to climate change, the talk is often about the impact on future generations. The implication is that consequences are still some way off in the future and, despite the scary headlines, we don't need to worry too much about them now. But for those of us who are deeply concerned about the effect carbon emissions are having on people and planet, this isn't helpful.

A Very Political Prince

Robin Lustig | Posted 15.05.2016 | UK Politics
Robin Lustig

We will almost certainly never have another chance to see what else Prince Charles has been writing to ministers about, nor indeed what he chooses to lobby them about once he becomes king. Shamefully, the government is determined to change the law to ensure that his secret lobbying is never again exposed to public scrutiny.

How Corrupt Is Britain?

Robert Barrington | Posted 22.05.2015 | UK Politics
Robert Barrington

By most objective analysis, corruption is not as bad in the UK as in some parts of the world; but it is much more profound in the UK than many people understand or admit. Perhaps the biggest danger for the UK is complacency.

Jack Straw, Malcolm Rifkind, Greedy Bankers - The Problem Starts With Us

Jonathan Young | Posted 03.05.2015 | UK Politics
Jonathan Young

The key is to break money's link with status, or to remove the importance of status altogether. True happiness is achieved through introspection, gratitude, helping others and an acceptance of the world around us (see my previous blog). The greed and selfishness of accumulating wealth couldn't be further from achieving that.

'Cash for Access' - Time for Parliament to Get Its House in Order

John Lehal | Posted 25.04.2015 | UK Politics
John Lehal

What amazes me however, is that, as we have seen in previous 'scandals', there remain a diminishing few Parliamentarians who are so quick to consider outside interests, with not a thought about the risk to public perception of inappropriate influence...

Time to Change the Rules on Second Jobs for MPs

Alexandra Runswick | Posted 25.04.2015 | UK Politics
Alexandra Runswick

So far all this scandal has done is reinforce the perception that many politicians are more interested in making money that representing their constituents. There needs to be fundamental change. At the very least, if second jobs are to be allowed then the taxpayer should not be expected to subsidise them as well.

Have Charities Become Too Political?

Simon Stevens | Posted 07.02.2015 | UK Politics
Simon Stevens

I believe charities have become too political, carefully lobbying government privately and publicly, and that this harms the democratic process. But like most things, it may be too late before the public starts to realise what has been going on and demands the charities are made accountable.

Should Charities Be Lobbying Government?

Simon Stevens | Posted 12.10.2014 | UK
Simon Stevens

Over the last decade or two, it has been interestingly the fashion for many charities to consider themselves political 'think tanks' who believe they have the ability and indeed the responsibility to lobby governments on behalf of the people they claim to represent, particularly in the field of disability.

Enter Politics 2.0

Joseph Musgrave | Posted 22.06.2014 | UK Politics
Joseph Musgrave

We are entering a very interesting new phase in political discourse. Technology companies will play a big and ever growing part in that conversation. It would behove politicians, but more importantly each and every citizen, to start thinking about what they'd like those answers to be.

The Real Truth About Lobbying

Gavin Devine | Posted 13.05.2014 | UK Politics
Gavin Devine

Those of us who are proud to be professional lobbyists believe strongly that our industry needs to be transparent, and open to informed and intelligent scrutiny. But I'm not sure that is quite what Tamasin and Andy have achieved in their article...

The Lib Dems and 'the Prostitute State'

Donnachadh McCarthy | Posted 06.05.2014 | UK Politics
Donnachadh McCarthy

This Saturday I will speak at a Lib Dem Conference fringe meeting, for the first time since my resignation was demanded by the Lib Dem President Navnit Dholakia...

The Lobbying Act Will Not Stand the Test of Time

Francis Ingham | Posted 04.04.2014 | UK Politics
Francis Ingham

Future governments will see this for what it is - a joke of an act, aimed at cleaning up political sleaze by deflecting the problem onto anyone but the house itself. We have an ignorantly narrow definition of lobbying, a register that will not cover 80% of lobbyists, and a scope so bizarrely narrow it could only be supported by those who haven't the faintest clue about lobbying.

The Story of the Lobbying Bill Shows Why So Many People Don't Believe in Politics

Lisa Nandy | Posted 31.03.2014 | UK Politics
Lisa Nandy

The controversial Lobbying Bill, which narrowly passed through the Lords on Tuesday, is now almost certain to become law. It's a bill about lobbyists, political campaigning regulation but it matters as much to the people I represent in Wigan as it does to the Westminster bubble because it tells a story of why so many people don't believe in politics.

Cameron Backs Controversial MP, Who Dodged Axe From Local Party

The Huffington Post UK/PA | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK Politics

David Cameron has thrown his support behind a senior Tory MP fighting to save his political career after local party officials refused to re-adopt him...

Henry VIII and the Lobbying Bill

Allan Hogarth | Posted 24.03.2014 | UK Politics
Allan Hogarth

The Henry VIII Clause? Surely the government would not resort to an outdated archaic process that could undermine the democracy of our legislature - Parliament? Well, it appears they could. Henry VIII clauses give the government significant power to change what Parliament has enacted.

Lobbying Bill Is a Pernicious Attack on Our Freedoms

Melanie Ward | Posted 16.03.2014 | UK Politics
Melanie Ward

The Bill would massively restrict the amount that campaigning charities and other UK community groups could spend in the year before an election whilst silencing us with unnecessary red tape. And if you're wondering why US-style funding systems don't yet exist in the UK, it's because they're already illegal.

MP Pay Rise of 11%? That's Cheap!

Matt Lacey | Posted 09.03.2014 | UK Politics
Matt Lacey

If MPs are against the pay increase, they can stop it; after all, they set up IPSA in the first place. If they're not, and I suspect many of them actually tacitly support getting more money (and on a human level, wouldn't you?), they need to say so. And they need to justify it. Needing to do so could be the best stimulus for reform of how money is influencing politics at the moment.

Theresa Villiers Cleared Of Wrongdoing By Downing Street Over Undeclared Lunch With Lobbyist

PA/Huffington Post UK | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics

A Downing Street inquiry into allegations against Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers has cleared her of wrongdoing over an undeclared lunch with a lobb...

Tim Yeo dropped as Tory MP by local party

The Huffington Post UK | Posted 30.01.2014 | UK Politics

Tim Yeo is said to be "considering his options" after being dropped by his constituency party. The Tory MP is fighting for his political career aft...

Can Democracy Defeat Political Apathy?

Robert Barrington | Posted 07.11.2013 | UK Politics
Robert Barrington

Why did the Jeremy Paxman and Russell Brand Newsnight interview go viral last week? Whichever side you take, it is unarguable that Brand struck a chord regarding the public mistrust of Parliament and apathy about politics in general. Can the UK's political class turn this around?

The Lobbying Bill - We Have a Long Way to Go Yet...

Robert Barrington | Posted 10.11.2013 | UK Politics
Robert Barrington

The government's Lobbying Bill has come in for intensive criticism in recent weeks - and for good reason. We at Transparency International think it is an unusually poor piece of draft legislation, and ahead of the second reading last week prepared a briefing outlining how the Bill could be improved.

If This Is 'Transparency', Let Us Worry

Megan Sherman | Posted 10.11.2013 | UK Universities & Education
Megan Sherman

Fortuitously the start of my work placement with Unlock Democracy, a lobby for constitutional reform, coincided with the reassembling of Parliament post-recess, which heralded the passage of the trumpeted "Transparency Bill" in to legislation. It revealed to me - a huge politics geek - a lot about how public policy is made and influenced in the United Kingdom.