When is a lobbyist not a lobbyist? When he’s Swire or meets with Swire?

A correspondent writes:

“Something rather hypocritical about Swire’s comments about transparency and privileged access? Wasn’t privileged access the very reason he said he was a better MP than Claire could have been? [He made this claim when he said he could NOT speak about the local NHS in Parliament but did p
have privileged access to Jeremy Hunt]. Though fat lot of good that did us!

Penultimate paragraph on this link:

“The Tory MP Hugo Swire, a former Foreign Office minister, said in the Commons on Monday that Patel’s meetings raised questions about the influence of lobbyists. “What people want is transparency and accountability. It is time, finally, to address the issue of privileged access and lobbying and funding, if we are not to have this repeating time and time again,” he said.”


Bear in mind that Swire is Chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council and asks MANY, MANY questions on such things as boosting tourism in Egypt and accompanied (and maybe still accompanies) British arms manufacturers on their sales trips.

Is this lobbying? Can an MP lobby?

Or is this lobbying – getting fast access to Ministers – which Swire embraced when he was at the FO?


As Owl keep saying:
“Methinks he doth protest too much”

One thought on “When is a lobbyist not a lobbyist? When he’s Swire or meets with Swire?

  1. For further info re the tangled web of lobbying and lack of transparency see:


    I also recommend Peter Oborne’s ‘report’ referred to in the above piece. It may be from 2009, but is probably at least as relevant now (for various reasons I won’t elaborate on here).



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