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!

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Google "Monsanto Protection Act". March 2013, in response to 'lobbying', the US government enshrined in law exemptions for all GM companies for any liability if harm arises from use of GM technology.

    A new study has just discovered that Glyphosate (in Roundup & used intensively on GM crops) disrupts the endocrine system / causes cancer at trillionth dilutions.

    See how 'effective' lobbying is?

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    The only lobbyists the politicans should be worried about or take any notice of should be their constituents. However the vast majority only worry about them at election time. For if they did worry about us they would have done something about the NHS, economy Etc rather than blethering on about more powers. I will say it once again they cant look after what they have got Ashamed to be Welsh

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    ... I find it worrying that a liberal and democrat is able to support a veil of secrecy surrounding lobbying and the lobbyist.

    The public distrust politicians (the democratic deficit) and by supporting the judgement made in committee to reject a register of lobbyists, Randerson sends a message to the public that their scrutiny is neither needed nor welcome.


  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    All we need now is for Daniel Foggo to set up another fake lobbying firm with a mission! I know - instead of getting Fiji back into the Commonwealth maybe he could try getting Cymru 'back' into the former UK???

    I don't suppose he'd get many takers down in the Bay but it could be fun trying!

    As for outfits with Cymru on the end - not in my name! I do my best to boycott them. Reverse lobbying!

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    A fine example of the lobbyist's art is "APCO Worldwide"...Second largest independently owned PR firm in the USA.

    APCO are fee paying 'Public Affairs Consultancy' clients.

    They were paid by ATOS (who we all know and love) to carry out lobbying in order to assist ATOS gain the UK Govt. financed 'Work Capability Assessment' contract.

    Mmmmm Nice !

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Always been extremely wary of this mysterious "lobbying arrangement"

    Wealthy organisations spending big bucks trying to persuade politicians to pass laws that favour them, (often to the detriment of the mainstream public), should send us all sniffing, and asking what that nasty smell is

    Calling it "The public affairs profession" really is taking the ****

    About time Labour scrapped it !

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Words almost fail me, to think that poor lonely 'infant' needs lobbying to help it grow up into what it is today...... Cue music: ''Fly me to the moon...'' or somewhere really exotic anyway. And who knows what may come of it. Voters? I don't the likes of them any more!



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