Membership of the Commons

7 Nov 2008 16:55:25

More than One in Ten MPs used to be a lobbyist

Time was was the House of Commons was populated by large numbers of ex-miners on the Labour side and ex-soldiers on the Tory benches - along with a good dose of lawyers.

This week, Hazel Blears has declaimed that it is "deeply unhealthy" that an increasing number of members of the Government are career politicians who lack real-life experience and live on "planet politics" (she is a former lawyer, by the way).

By a happy coincidence, the latest edition of Public Affairs News has done an investigation into how many MPs have a background in lobbying - one of those jobs whose practitioners are occasionally accused of having only ever lived on "planet politics".

The PAN report reveals that more than 10 per cent of MPs have a background in lobbying, public affairs, public relations and communications - with no fewer than 69 out of the 646 MPs listed as having jobs in that sector on their CV.

They number:

32 Labour MPs
25 Conservative MPs
12 Lib Dem MPs

The list includes a number of senior figures on all sides, including David Cameron, Andrew Lansley, Chris Grayling, Nick Herbert, David Miliband, Andy Burnham and Nick Clegg.

Should this be a matter of concern or not?