All-Party Parliamentary Groups and the legitimate function of an illegitimate office
Guido’s political cynicism is legendary. But this time he’s got it wrong. He seems to suggest a conflict of interest because Patrick Mercer (MP, Newark) is paid to make security introductions to Clearwater Security while being Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Security Group.
Guido would argue that a Chairman of an All Party Parliamentary Group for Security should not be taking money off private security firms – even if it has been declared – especially as that money is given in return for introductions to potential clients for that firm.
Mercer: Security Cash is For Client Introductions
But there is no conflict of interest. I explained this very clearly here, in relation to the All-Party IP Group:
[All-Party Groups] are really nothing more than private lobby groups essentially operating inside government, and are the opposite of democracy.
All-Party Intellectual Property Group announce [sic] new Inquiry
So a member of parliament acting undemocratically as a paid lobbyist to get private companies into parliament is not indulging in a conflict of interest provided he is doing so through an All-Party Group. Patrick Mercer is doing nothing more than fulfilling the authorised function of the All-Party Group, and as Chairman, has an even greater duty to do so.