Lobbying and Campaigning Contacts

Article modified: October 2017, Author:


Issues

Freedom of Information

FoI legislation gives a legal right to request access to all types of “recorded” information held by public bodies. Some reference sources:

  • The Information Commissioner’s Office is the official overseer of the regulations under Freedom of Information (England and Wales). This body also has responsibility for Environmental Information Regulations.
  • Scotland has a separate (but similar) FOI regime – see Scottish Information Commissioner. Also see Scottish Government’s FOI pages.
  • The UK government’s Freedom of Information policy moved from the Ministry of Justice to the Cabinet Office in July 2015.
  • Campaign for Freedom of Information is keeping an eye on issues and publishing advice. Published January 05 is A Short Guide to the Freedom of Information Act and Other New Access Rights in pdf format, 526kb – a recommended starting point.
  • freedomofinformation.co.uk is providing consultancy and research services and has some useful resources on their site.

Note: organisations providing public services will also have obligations under FoI.

Lobbying and PR issues

Alliance for Lobbying Transparency is comprised of civil society groups concerned about the growing influence of professional lobbying on Government decision-making and life in the UK.

Spinwatch monitors the role of public relations and spin in contemporary society.

Also see Government/democracy/media in our Areas of Concern section.

General

Gov.uk is the starting point for government info (was DirectGov). Try the citizenship section re petitions, the announcements section for news and speeches – possibly public consultations (there doesn’t seem to be a separate section).

We can’t currently (Sep. 2014) find any details on signing up for the Gov.uk email alerts service (which replaced info4local etc.), which used to provide news from the government departments and agencies.

Dod’s have a range of guides to parliamentary process and contacts, including what is now Vacher’s Quarterly. They’ve also got online directories for UK, Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, European Union etc.

Writetothem is an independent facility to help make contact with Councillors, MP, MEPs, MSPs, or Welsh and London Assembly Members.

Also see Campaign Resources page under Useful Publications, Campaign Help, etc.

National Government issues

Parliamentary

Members of Parliament: Politics.co.uk has a directory of MPs. Plus see Campaigning Resources page.

Hansard Society promotes effective parliamentary democracy; runs a Lobbying training series with Directory of Social Change on occasional basis. St. Philips Building, Sheffield St, WC2 2EX, phone 020 7955 7459, email: hansard@hansard.lse.ac.uk

Government/Whitehall

All government departments are now on GOV.UK – the following links should forward to the correct sections if they haven’t been updated by us yet.

Published legislation is available from legislation.gov.uk. Also see The Gazette for official notices.

The Stationery Office Online Bookshop All the official publications in one place.

National Statistics Includes details of National Statistics Information and Library Service public libraries in Pimlico (London) and Newport (South Wales) under Services.

Scottish, Welsh, NI



Regional

Government Offices in the Regions

These were due to close 2012.

Regional Assemblies/Chambers

These were the democratic/political relation to the regional development agencies, but may no longer have much of a role (summer 2010) and are likely to radically change/disappear (apart from GLA).

Regional Development Agencies

all closed by March 2012. There may be some remnant of these bodies still operational but they don’t have any formal governmental role.

Local Government

Information on what English councils do, how to contact councillors etc. is available via Gov.Uk.

Local Government Association site is pretty good. If you are looking for a list of local authority web sites, go to Search, then Links.

London Councils develops policy, lobbies government and others, and runs a range of services “designed to make life better for Londoners”.

New Local Government Network A membership organisation which supports reform and modernisation in local government. The site contains information about the Network as well as news, key issues, events and debates.

European and International

See more general/sector European contacts on a separate page.

A directory of MEPs and the European parliament calendar can be obtained from the library of the parliament’s London office.

EmbassyWorld is a searchable global database.

Political Parties

The Electoral Commission has a database of registered political parties (the focus is on party finance) and various info about them – more comprehensive than our list.

Conservative Party
Labour Party
Liberal Democrats
Green Party of England and Wales

Plaid Cymru
Welsh Green Party
Wales Labour Party

SNP
Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Green Party

Ulster Unionist Party
SDLP
The Alliance Party
Sinn Fein

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