Wales politics

Plaid Cymru backs lobbying register for Wales

Senedd Image copyright Philip Halling/Geograph

Calls for Welsh regulation of lobbying through an official register have been backed by Plaid Cymru AMs.

Recent law changes have seen lobbying registers created in Scotland and at a UK level, but Wales does not have such a system.

The assembly's standards committee is currently probing lobbying in light of the changes.

But the outgoing standards commissioner Gerard Elias has said he has had no complaints about lobbying in Wales.

Lobbyists are companies or individuals paid to influence government decisions.

Plaid Cymru AM Neil McEvoy used an assembly debate earlier this year to call for lobbying in Wales to be regulated and for lobbyists to be required to register.

He argued regulation would ensure a transparent culture in the assembly so it is known for whom commercial lobbyists work.

His party group has now agreed for his calls for a register, with his office saying Plaid Cymru will call for the inquiry to recommend an official register of lobbyists.

In 2013, the then assembly standards committee concluded AMs should face tighter scrutiny but not a full official register.

Image caption Gerard Elias has said he has had no complaints about lobbying in Wales

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "While the standards commissioner has recently said he has had no complaints about lobbying in Wales, we welcome the inquiry and will respond positively to any recommendations."

First Minster Carwyn Jones has said lobbyists do not have access to Welsh ministers.

Assembly members on the committee agreed to hold a written consultation on the issue at its meeting earlier in November.

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