As Tories reveal details of MEP meetings with lobbyists, who received the most? - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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As Tories reveal details of MEP meetings with lobbyists, who received the most?

Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Giles Chichester MEPSouth West MEP Giles Chichester was the Conservative Party’s MEP most regularly in contact with lobbyists in the first half of 2010, according to data published by the Tories in the European Parliament.

The publication last month of this first listing covering the six-month period of 1st January to 30th June 2010 arrives nearly 18 months after a commitment was made in the party’s manifesto for the last European elections which said its MEPs would "publish online details of all meetings with lobbyists and interest groups".

The 54-page document available to download from the party's website www.conservativeeurope.com shows Mr Chichester, pictured left, had the most contact with lobbyists during the six-month period with a total of 219 entries, closely followed by his prominent colleagues Syed Kamall (145) and Malcolm Harbour (127).

The released information relating to the first half of this parliamentary year lists under the MEP's name the meeting date, the name of the lobbyist(s), their organisation (and clients, if applicable) and the 'context' of their meeting.

Mr Chichester, a former leader of the Conservatives in Europe, is a member of both the Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and its Committee on Petitions (PETI) so it comes as no surprise to see the majority of his meetings lobbyist undertaken within the context of “Energy”. But according to his self-compiled list, he also received lobbyists on issues relating to “Telecoms”, “Bio Economy”, “Insurance” and even one about a “visit [to a] RSPB reserve for briefing and to sign the Natura 2000 pledge to protect our best wildlife sites.”

While Mr Chichester along with Kamall and Harbour are among the MEPs most regularly in contact with lobbyists, two Tory MEPs - Sir Robert Atkins and Daniel Hannan - listed zero meetings. The latter, Hannan, a prolific EU-bashing columnist for the Daily Telegraph, claims to operate a no-lobbyist policy having “campaigned for years for more direct democracy, for the dispersal of power and for an end to comitology and an institutionalised role for NGOs”. It is perhaps thanks to this policy that he finds himself with enough time to blog on a near-daily basis.

The 54-page document is available to download from here. For the cropped version that features just the entries of the three Conservative South West MEPs click here (pdf, 1.24MB).


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