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Mar 26th, 2012

Dinner with David Cameron? Another reason to ban secret lobbying

By 38 Degrees team

Paying for dinner with David Cameron: "awesome for your business".

Yesterday, we got yet another glimpse of how corrupt our political system is. The co-treasurer of the Conservatives was filmed giving a rare honest account of how lobbying can work. Donate enough money and you get to have dinner with the Prime Minister.

That’s probably not most people’s idea of a great night out, but the Tory treasurer was in no doubt it would pay off. “It’ll be awesome for your business”, he said.

A ban on secret lobbying would help weed out this kind of sleaze. New rules could force politicians to reveal who they’re meeting and what they talked about. That’s why 38 Degrees members have been campaigning to bring in these rules for ages.

After the MP expenses scandal, public pressure pushed all the parties to make big promises about tackling lobbying. But now it’s time to write the new rules, Cameron has come up with weak rules that won’t solve the problem.

If we speak up together now, we can push him to go much further and bring in a real ban, not just a token gesture.

We know David Cameron is worried about public anger about secret lobbying. Back when a Labour government was the main culprit, he described it as a “scandal waiting to happen”. Now it’s his own reputation on the line. A big petition will show him that the anger will just keep on growing if he doesn’t introduce a proper legal ban.

38 Degrees members have voted to make it a priority to ban secret lobbying because we know the harm it does on other issues we care about. How many secret dinners with private health lobbyists did Cameron have whilst pushing through his NHS changes?

Help stop the rich and powerful whispering in the ears of MPs who are meant to be working for us – please add your name to the petition now.

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