James Gray MP welcoming representatives of 20th Armoured Brigade to Parliament
James with representatives of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards during a Welcome Home Event for 20th Armoured Brigade
James Gray MP with representatives from Google and The Countryside Alliance Foundation
James at The Springfields Academy
Mr James Gray (North Wiltshire) (Conservative): Does my right hon. Friend agree that there is a real risk in that although a request for a register of paid lobbyists is perfectly reasonable, we must not throw the baby out with the bathwater when all sorts of charities, voluntary organisations, trade unions and others who “lobby” perfectly legitimately are not paid lobbyists and should not be included?
The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Mr Oliver Letwin): My hon. Friend makes an important observation. One issue that came up in the course of the consultation, which many consultees and indeed the Select Committee commented on, is the question of scope. The Government’s initial proposals did not include any reference to lobbyists that were “in house”—the ones to which my hon. Friend refers—whether they be charities, businesses, social enterprises or whatever. Some respondents suggested that the scope should be wider. This is clearly something that needs to be considered, and my hon. Friend’s point is well taken.
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