Tory MP Patrick Mercer has resigned from the Parliamentary Conservative Party to “save … embarrassment” over a BBC Panorama programme alleging he had broken lobbying rules.
Mercer, MP for Newark, will remain as an Independent but will not stand for re-election in 2015.
The coalition government is committed to setting up a statutory register of lobbyists – companies who influence government policy, often by paying current and former MPs for advice and guidance. But, you know, it’s one of those matters that just doesn’t seem to make it onto the legislative programme – like proper bank regulation and measures to make tax avoidance impossible.
Many of you know that I have a strong opinion about this. That is why I started an e-petition to ban MPs from voting on matters in which they have a financial interest. Lobbying would definitely be affected by such a ban.
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