Summary of Investigation – Andrew Bridgen MP
Wednesday 30th November 2022
Organisation or Person Investigated
Andrew Bridgen MP (“Mr Bridgen”)
Whether Mr Bridgen conducted unregistered consultant lobbying.
Mr Bridgen did not undertake unregistered consultant lobbyist as defined by the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 in relation to the matters investigated.
Summary of Rationale for Decision
Mr Bridgen entered into a contract with Mere Plantations Limited. However, he chose not to invoice for his work and any communications on their behalf were therefore pro bono.
Under the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, a consultant lobbyist is someone who makes communications with Ministers, Permanent Secretaries (or equivalents) in return for payment and is VAT registered. As Mere Plantations Limited made no payment to Mr Bridgen, any communications he made on their behalf were not consultant lobbying.
|Formal letter from the Registrar to Mr Bridgen giving background on the requirement for registering; asking if his activities in general fall within the criteria to be registered; and in particular with reference to media reports that Mr Bridgen represented his client, Mere Plantations, in communications with ministers.
|Email from Mr Bridgen stating his contract was as a consultant, not a consultant lobbyist; and he declined to invoice Mere Plantations Limited.
|Letter from the Registrar giving his decision and, to support future compliance, advising Mr Bridgen that consulting lobbying is defined in statute by the nature of the activity undertaken, not by the term of a contract.
30 November 2022
Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists