MSPs to look at lobbying and access to politicians

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MSPs at Holyrood are to investigate whether there is a problem will lobbying and access to politicians.

Members of the standards, procedures and public appointments committee will also examine if there should be a statutory register of lobbyists.

The Scottish government said it wanted to bring forward legislation on the subject before the next Holyrood election in 2016.

Westminster is also looking at lobbying and access to politicians.

MPs are examining the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill.

Under the Westminster proposed laws, individuals and companies lobbying ministers and civil servants would have to declare who they represented.

Helen Eadie, who is deputy convener of the standards, procedures and public appointments committee, said: "Our main focus will be whether there is a problem, either actual or perceived, with lobbying in Scotland, and what steps should be taken to address any issues that are identified.

"The committee would therefore like to receive views on these issues.

"In particular the committee seeks views on the proposed statutory register of lobbyists, who should be on such a list, how it would operate and whether other steps might be needed to ensure integrity and public confidence in the decision-making process."

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