Minister welcomes growth of lobbying in Wales


Lobbyists haven't had the best of times lately, with senior ministers threatening to regulate their activities more closely after several stories suggesting David Cameron's 2010 prophecy may come true.

So there will be relief, if not joy, in lobbying circles at a speech to be made by a UK government minister.

Liberal Democrat Baroness Randerson will tell a gathering of lobbyists tonight - eating under the umbrella of Public Affairs Cymru - that she welcomes the growth of what she calls "the public affairs profession" in Wales.

The Wales Office minister will endorse the Welsh assembly's rejection of the idea of a statutory register of lobbyists - one of the reforms put forward by her own coalition government for the regulation of lobbyists in Westminster.

She'll tell diners that the growth of the Welsh lobbying industry "is a sign that Wales really is being considered in its own right" and welcome the increase in the number of charities doing public relations in Wales. I suspect not everyone who gives to charity wants their donations to be spent on lobbying - ("£50 buys lunch for a lobbyist - please give generously") - but I may be wrong.

She will say: "As a peer I am lobbied every day one way or another. But the infant Welsh assembly with its fresh, new AMs was almost totally free of that in the early days.

"The public affairs profession has grown rapidly in Wales in the last 15 years. The outward and visible sign of this is that almost every charity now has at least a branch here in Wales and puts Cymru after its name, and either does its own PR in Wales or employs another company to do it for them.

"This is strongly to be welcomed. It is a sign that Wales really is being considered in its own right."

Lady Randerson will also congratulate Public Affairs Cymru "for its part in ensuring that PR companies in Wales had operated in recent years according to a voluntary code of conduct".

"The register of lobbyists planned for London was rejected by the recent Assembly Committee report as not necessary," she will say. "I have no reason to doubt that judgement and long may it last."

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    There is another interesting point buried in the article i.e. the growth of Welsh branches of NGO's. I never ceased to be amazed that every industrial estate and business park in Cardiff is now full of these enterprises. Now whilst they are doing excellent work, the reason that they can find cheap units to rent is that the private sector in Narnia is DEAD.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    June 13th Annual Dinner...7pm. at the Park Plaza Hotel, Cardiff

    The "Public Affairs Cymru" dinner is Wales' PAI event of the year.(!)

    Guest speaker, Baroness Jenny Randerson.

    "Tickets are £45 a head, or a discount price of £450 for 10".....!

    Entirely possible then, that lobbyists have difficulty with extremely simple arithmetic !

    Bet all us "peasants" on here spotted the error...

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    9.Miss T Fied
    The study you are referring to is somewhat out of context as it is incomplete and itself refers to further research needed. It is also on concentrated version and not the diluted form used. Finally it is aimed only at one particular area so a very narrow study. Now I am the first to say that independent studies need to be heeded however as this is incomplete care needs to be taken.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Chris London - No, I think you are mistaken.

    This research was undertaken by the Environmental Toxicology Program, Chulabhorn Graduate Institute, Thailand; released this week.

    However you illustrate the perils of modern politics perfectly. Only industry funded research (to secure ultimate commercial gain) is believed by many naive politicians

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    7.Miss T Fied
    Somewhat overstated and just as bad as other lobbyists. The report you refer to was written by and for Friends of the Earth and as such must be treated with some scepticism. We all know there are "Lies, damned lies, and statistics". A report by the manufactures counters these claims but must be treated the same. The only report you should take notice of is an independent report!


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