Socialist Worker

The lobbyists at the heart of government

Issue No. 2274

The current Tory under-secretary for defence is Gerald Howarth MP.

He once said, “People who decry the defence industry should hang their heads in shame because it is a noble industry.”

It is not surprising Howarth thinks this considering his links to arms dealers.

When he was spokesperson for defence under Tory party leader Michael Howard, Howarth provided a lobbyist for arms dealers with his allocated parliamentary staff passes.

In the last parliament Howarth booked rooms to hold “meetings” and dinners in the House of Commons.

His guests included Rolls Royce, the UK Defence Forum, the Air Power Association, and many others.

Spelman and agribusiness lobbying

Caroline Spelman is the Tory secretary of state for agriculture (Defra).

Prior to becoming an MP, she was a lobbyist for agribusiness.

She and her husband Mark set up Spelman, Cormack & Associates in 1989 as a food and biotech lobbying firm.

Cormack is her unmarried name.

She resigned as a director—and transferred her share of the company to her husband.

The minister, who is the main target for agribusiness lobbying, has her name on the lobbying company letterhead.

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