So, why won’t David Cameron confirm or deny that he discussed fracking with Lynton Crosby?
I’m not suggesting any impropriety, despite Crosby’s close association with the fracking industry and the sudden and unexpected tax breaks offered to them. Neither am I suggesting that fracking is dangerous and likely to cause damage to the environment including water contamination. What I would like to know is why the chief SB is being evasive about it?
And why is the chief SB also avoiding questions about Lynton Crosby and tobacco. For sure Crosby Textor represent Philip Morris and all of sudden the government backtracked on plain cigarette packages. It doesn’t really matter whether this will work or not, what does matter is whether or not the PM-SB discussed it with Crosby. Why is he avoiding saying whether or not he HAS discussed with him?
Crosby Textor also represents a drinks industry body that has campaigned against minimum pricing. Lo and behold, the Government formally abandoned a plan previously backed by Mr Cameron to set a minimum unit price for alcohol to combat binge drinking.
Of course Crosby "has never lobbied (the PM-SB) on anything", but he will not say if they actually "discussed" it.
And why does the Government’s long-delayed Bill to set up a register of lobbyists paid to lobby on behalf of a third party contain a loophole that would allow Crosby Textor not to join the list or name its clients?
Why is the government opposing a Labour amendment that would close that loophole, and force all professional lobbyists working in the UK to declare their full list of clients on a statutory register and the approximate value of such work; ensure the list includes people working for a governing party as well as the Government and avoid conflicts of interest?