Lobbying transparency demanded in wake of ‘Cash for Cameron’


By John Glenday, Reporter

March 26, 2012 | 2 min read

Unlock Democracy, a campaign group demanding transparent lobbying, has called for “action not bluster” in the wake of Sunday Times revelations implicating Conservative co-treasurer Peter Cruddas offering access to David Cameron in exchange for donations.

Peter Facey, a director of the group, said: “The time for bluster about party funding and lobbying transparency is over: we need the government to take urgent action.

“Peter Cruddas is on the record for not merely offering access for cash, but for offering actual policy influence. The fact that he felt confident about making such an offer suggests that this culture is ingrained within the Conservative Party; one resignation will not be anything like enough. Nor are the Conservatives the only party to be implicated: we have seen dozens of similar stories do the rounds in the recent past.

“The suggestion that party donors have been wined and dined in Downing Street is especially serious; if this proves to be the case then government assets have been used to subsidise the Conservatives’ fundraising operation.

“The government has no more excuses for inaction on this. The Committee on Standards in Public Life have called for a £10,000 cap on donations to parties. Instead of playing for time, David Cameron and Nick Clegg should move swiftly to introduce this. They should announce plans for a robust register of lobbying activity to ensure that covert ‘private dinners’ with ministers are publicly declared and stop insulting us with the fatally flawed proposals they published in January.

“Famously, David Cameron declared before the election that covert lobbying was the next big scandal waiting to happen. He knew what the stakes were. Every day he fails to sort this mess out, his very competence and integrity are brought further into question. This ought to worry him very deeply indeed.”


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