The Public Relations and Communications Association’s (PRCA) Public Affairs Board (PAB) has urged Parliament to hold MPs to account following another high-profile breach of ethical standards.
According to the Observer, former Trade Secretary Liam Fox MP, wrote to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pressing for an export tax break that would benefit Global Britain Commission – a business group of which Fox is Chairman and receives remuneration.
PRCA Public Affairs Chair, Liam Herbert FPRCA commented:
“If these claims are right, Liam Fox’s actions were inexcusable. It is wholly unacceptable for parliamentarians to abuse their privileged positions for commercial gain.
“But we’ve been here before. Liam Fox joins a long list of MPs and Lords whose behaviour damages trust in our political system and misrepresents the reality of professional lobbying.
“The professional lobbying industry – represented by the PRCA Public Affairs Board – adheres to a stringent code of conduct and maintains high ethical standards. We need those in Parliament to do the same.
“It suits Parliamentarians to pretend there is a big problem with lobbying as a whole. There isn’t; the problem is that Parliament is apparently incapable of getting its own house in order. For the sake of building trust in our political system it needs to sort itself out urgently.”
The PRCA PAB has consistently campaigned for higher parliamentary standards and provided oral evidence to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) inquiry last year.
The organisation has set out its broader plan for lobbying, including raising standards for parliamentarians, in its 6 Point Public Confidence Plan.