GMB Say Including Unions In Lobbying Bill Is Seeking To Deflect Attention From MPs And Peers Taking Money
It would be a good idea that before Government starts lecturing trade unions and their members that they put their own house in order says GMB
GMB commented on the proposed lobbying bill. See notes to editors to see PA report.
Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said “This is the height of hypocrisy when MPs and Peers get exposed for taking money from business that the Tories and Liberals seek to defect attention by attacking trade unions and working people.
It would be a good idea that before Government starts lecturing trade unions and their members that they put their own house in order.”
Contact: Cath Speight 07506 711 925 or Lisa Johnson 07900 392 228 or GMB Press Office – Rose Conroy on 07974 251823 or Steve Pryle on 07921 289880
Notes to editors
PA report on lobbying bill.
A bill to create a statutory register of lobbyists is to be brought in before Parliament breaks for its summer recess next month, Downing Street announced today.
The announcement comes in the wake of a rash of lobbying scandals, which saw a Conservative MP and an Ulster Unionist peer resigning the party whip and two Labour peers suspended after it was alleged that they breached parliamentary rules.
The bill creating a lobbyists register will also include measures to end self-certification of union membership and reform third-party contributions to election campaigns, said Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman.
Under the new proposals, unions will be required to carry out an annual audit of their membership and demonstrate that the figures they produce are accurate. The Certification Officer will be given the power to conduct investigations into the numbers produced, which are vital when ballots on strike action are conducted.
And unions appear to be the main target of the proposed changes to third-party election campaign funding, which will apply to organisations affiliated to political parties as those making major donations of more than £100,000.
The reforms will ensure that the true value of activities such as leaflet-printing is reflected when judging whether parties have breached the £19 million cap on campaign spending in the year before a general election, said No 10.
When calculating the campaign spending they must declare, organisations such as unions would have to include not only the cost of printing a leaflet but also overheads such as staffing and rent on premises - which could potentially inflate the figure considerably.