by JohnnyChatterton Apr 24th, 2010
Secret lobbying of our MPs is a massive problem. It’s outrageous that big business can spend millions on lobbyists that get their voices heard – and we have no right to know who is meeting who, who representing who or how much their spending. 38 Degrees members decided earlier this year that banning secret lobbying should be one of our top priorities in the election campaign.
In Cornwall, local 38 Degrees members have been campaigning hard to ban secret lobbying. The campaign in Camborne and Redruth has been a very successful campaign so far – all the candidates except George Eustice (Conservative) have pledged to back a ban of secret lobbying.
So at the local “question time” last night I tried to ask George why he’s ignoring the local campaign and is refusing to back the ban. He wouldn’t comment – instead saying he’d email through a comment “soon” (nothing received yet). I asked him to explain why he won’t support a ban of secret lobbying in a video – but he refused that too.
I tried to catch up with him outside the venue but, in true politician style, he (and his team) charged out so quickly there was no chance of catching him. All the other candidates were happy to speak to me on camera – I’ll try to get those clips online soon.
With his background as a lobbyist and David Cameron’s former spin-doctor, Eustice is well placed to try to duck tough questions like he did last night. But he’d do well to remember that this issue isn’t going to go away. As David Cameron said a few months ago “Lobbying is the next political scandal waiting to happen”. The local campaign is growing fast (sign the petition here: www.38degrees.org.uk/camborne) and pressure is growing on Eustice every day.
So George, if you’re reading this (which I’m sure you are – your team told me you get all our emails) please let us know why you don’t back a ban on secret lobbying.
Note: You can see a full list of the candidates running for the seat of Camborne and Redruth on the “Your Next MP “site: http://www.yournextmp.com/seats/camborne_and_redruth