Thursday, 11 February 2010

Should Andrew Mackay work for a political lobbying firm?

It has been reported that Andrew Mackay, Bracknell's current (and soon to be former) Conservative MP has accepted a position with political lobbying firm Burston-Marstellar.

The Times reports that:

The chief executive of BursonMarsteller is Matt Carter, who was Labour’s general secretary during the cash-for-honours affair. Mr Carter issued a press release on the appointment shortly after he was approached for a comment when The Times learnt that the lobbyists had been holding secret negotiations with the Tory MP.

The company said that it had announced the appointment in ad- vance “in the interests of transparency and so there can be perceived to be no conflict of interest in his current role as an MP”.

Mr MacKay, one of the casualties of the expenses scandal, is said to have negotiated a six-figure salary. “He’s been told to keep close to the Cameron team,” an insider said.

This is interesting because David Cameron in a speech only 3 days ago railed against lobbying of this kind. This is what he said:

"We all know how it works. The lunches, the hospitality, the quiet word in your ear, the ex-ministers and ex-advisers for hire, helping big business find the right way to get its way. In this party, we believe in competition, not cronyism.

"So we must be the party that sorts all this out. Today it is a £2bn industry that has a huge presence in parliament. The Hansard Society has estimated that some MPs are approached over 100 times a week by lobbyists.

"I believe that secret corporate lobbying, like the expenses scandal, goes to the heart of why people are so fed up with politics. It arouses people's worst fears and suspicions about how our political system works."

So Mr Mackay's reported move seems directly at odds with the direction his leader wants to take.

I thought it would be interesting to see what our readers think about this move and whether Mr Mackay is right to take on this role. I have put a poll in the sidebar at the top of the blog. It will run for a week and asks whether he should do it. The options are "Yes", "No" and "It's none of our business".

Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below too.


  1. Its nice to see a poll here on Brack blog. This just shows that you can have a job for life in politics, AM is not a major MP nothing special yet he can be paid all this money to lobby, they must feel he has some power over the future PM. This is why democracy i not perfect i mean lobbying is all about the money and power not about how important the subject is to the UK as a whole.

  2. Just goes to show rip off the taxpayer commit what would have been a felony in anyone else and still you fall butterside up.
    Most Bracknell people feel nothing but disgust and comtempt for Andrew Mackay.
    The mere thought of him lobbying for the Tory party makes decision at the next election very easy.
    Naturally the super self satisfied Bracknell Conservative Association are confident that nothing will dislodge them from Bracknell safe seat even a super dicey fraud who credibility is zero.

  3. Full Fact took a new look at lobbying in light of Cameron's 'scandal' warning. Our findings here:

  4. well said Anonymous

    Tim thanks for the info

  5. Murray Barter, UK Independence Party PPC27 February 2010 at 13:28

    An excellent quote above from 'Call me Dave' re political lobbying & cronyism, & how he's at odds with it all. Utter buncombe.

    The tory Party is full of cronyism, nepotism, schoolism, elitism, specially Politically Correct selected shortlists...

    All his mates will be fine, and Mackay, despite his disgrace, will continue to profit further. He, and it, makes me sick.

  6. Looks like Andrew Mackay comes out a winner again with a goodbye packet of 1.8 million

    Thanks Bracknell !