St Albans MP rebels over Lobbying Bill

PUBLISHED: 10:57 31 January 2014 | UPDATED: 10:57 31 January 2014

St Albans MP Anne Main with some of the Crown Estate behind her and the M1 motorway in the distance

St Albans MP Anne Main with some of the Crown Estate behind her and the M1 motorway in the distance


Tory rebel Anne Main was one of only three Conservatives who defied the Government whip to support local charities’ concerns over the Lobbying Bill.

The St Albans MP has had hundreds of representations from charities and constituents over their misgivings about undue red-tape and costs which they were concerned the Bill could place upon them.

The bill is supposed to tackle back-door influences on politics but has led to fears that it would silence legitimate campaigners.

Mrs Main has a particular interest in it after lodging a formal complait whenthe then Transport Minister Theresa Villiers and Simon Hoare, lobbyist for rail freight company Helioslough, held a private meeting in 2012.

After the debate, Mrs Main said: “ I still don’t believe this Bill captures the cosy and clandestine nature of meetings such as that between Theresa Villiers and Simon Hoare over rail freight.

“This tendency to trade on who you know, rather than pursuing policy down the correct channels ought be what this Bill seeks to address.”

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