Unlock Democracy

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Unlock Democracy was formed from a merger of Charter88 and the New Politics Network, although the term 'Unlock Democracy' has also been used to describe a joint campaign of these two organizations before the merger 'promoting democratic renewal and active engagement in the political process'.

Unlock Democracy says it campaigns for:

  • Fair, Open and Honest Elections
  • Rights, Freedoms and a Written Constitution
  • Stronger Parliament and Accountable Government
  • Bringing Power Closer to the People
  • A Culture of Informed Political Interest and Responsibility[1]

Unlock Democracy is a registered company No. 02440899.

Scottish lobbying draft bill

On 30 October 2015, the Scottish government published details of it's draft for a lobbying bill which outlines a code of conduct and a register for the industry. The draft has come under fire from both the lobbying industry and campaigners as not being extensive enough. Some of the most notable criticism came from Unlock Democracy's director Alexandra Runswick:

'Scotland's lobbyists will breathe a sigh of relief on reading this bill. The proposed register will cover only a fraction of the lobbying that takes place in and around Holyrood.The SNP said it wanted to make Scotland more transparent than the rest of the UK. Instead it has published a bill which is full of handy loopholes for lobbyists. With these proposals, the Government has wasted a golden opportunity to bring lobbying out into the open.'[2]

Unlock Democracy, along with Spinwatch and the Electoral Reform Society of Scotland have published a new report on lobbying in Scotland, Holyrood Exposed: A Guide to Lobbying in Scotland

Advisory committee on business appointments

In a story published on 4 May 2016, entitled 'All aboard the gravy train from Whitehall to gold-plated jobs in the City', the Daily Mail unveiled those former ministers who are now benefitting from the revolving door between the City and Westminster, and the failure of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments to regulate properly. Alexander Runswick, director of Unlock Democracy, had the following to say: 'The extent to which you can now move straight from working in government to the sector you used to regulate is truly shocking. There is a real risk of a job in government looking like work experience for a lucrative career in the private sector, rather than public service...Acoba has failed as a regulator. Successive governments have failed to act and we are now at a crisis point. We need a new statutory regulator, with investigative powers and real sanctions, before the public lose all faith in politics.' [3]

Office Address

Unlock Democracy 9 Cynthia Street Islington London N1 9JF[4]

References

  1. Unlock Democracy Homepage, accessed 20 February 2011
  2. Ian Griggs, 'Scottish governments lobbying bill does not go far enough'.www.prweek.com, accessed 2 November 2015
  3. [Sam Greenhill, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3572258/All-aboard-gravy-train-Whitehall-gold-plated-jobs-City-paid-passengers.html, 'All aboard the gravy train from Whitehall to gold-plated jobs in the City', 4 May 2016], Daily Mail Online, accessed 5 May 2016
  4. Contact and Staff Details, Unlock Democracy, accessed 20 February 2011

Resources