Acevo and NCVO seek discussions with minister over lobbyist register

Sir Stephen Bubb and Sir Stuart Etherington write to civil society minister Nick Hurd to request round-table talks on the 'unintended consequences' of the proposal

Sir Stephen Bubb
Sir Stephen Bubb

The chief executives body Acevo and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations have written a joint letter to Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, to ask for a round-table discussion about the possible "unintended consequences" of a proposed new register of lobbyists for charities.

Such a register, which would allow people to find out who meets MPs to influence policy, was part of the coalition’s plan for government, but has attracted renewed attention after the access to state resources given by the former defence secretary Liam Fox to his friend Adam Werrity.

In the letter, Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, and Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, said they wanted to ensure that any register "does not unintentionally prevent, impede or dissuade charities from doing the vital work they do in informing government policy".

A spokeswoman for Acevo said that it was not yet clear what a register of lobbyists would look like, so it was difficult to know what the consequences might be.

"We’ve requested this round table to find out more information, so we can check this won’t cause any problems for charities that want to meet regularly with MPs," she said.

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