Criticism of “unfettered and unmonitored” access to senior politicians.
Local MP Roger Godsiff is among a group of politicians, academics and celebrities campaigning for the investigation of lobbying by the Square Mile. The group sent a letter to the chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, calling for an inquiry into the City’s “unfettered and unmonitored” access to senior MPs through the City of London Corporation.
The letter calls for an inquiry into the relationship between the City and politicians, and argues that a lack of openness and accountability enables Big Finance to exert too much power over the political and legislative process.
Copies of the letter were also sent to David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg. Other signatories include two other Labour MPs, Green MP Caroline Lucas, lead singer of Radiohead Thom Yorke and the actor Dominic West, as well as academics and charities.
The letter argues that City UK, which lobbies on behalf of the City of London, promotes tax avoidance and also has too much access to ministers and civil servants. Roger said: “Politicians should be accountable to the citizens they were elected to serve, not to the financial industry which has caused such damage to the UK’s economy. I am also concerned that the City is linked to tax avoidance schemes which have an incredibly damaging effect around the world, particularly on the poorest countries.”
Roger has previously campaigned for Government action on corporate tax avoidance, and tabled an Early Day Motion calling for a clampdown on the use of British Overseas Territories as tax havens. Speaking after signing the letter, Hall Green MP Roger said: “It’s time for politicians to stand up to the City and take action for tax justice and a fairer distribution of global wealth. A public inquiry is the first step, so that we can find out the full extent of the City’s influence on UK politics and legislation.”