Victory for university researchers as Government exempts them from new ‘anti-lobbying’ rule
In response to the announcement today (19 April 2016) that the UK Government intends university research grants to be exempt from a new ‘anti-lobbying’ clause, Bob Ward, the policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said:
“I am very glad that the Government has today announced its intention to create this exemption for university researchers. I do not believe that the Government meant for the ‘anti-lobbying’ clause to apply to grants for researchers in universities and research institutes, and I am glad that the Cabinet Office has today indicated that it will do the right thing. I hope that the exemption will apply not just to grants from the higher education funding councils and research councils, but also to grants from Government Departments for research. Without the exemption, the clause would forbid researchers from using Government grants to attempt to influence policy-making. Such a restriction would be bad for policy-making, bad for the public interest and bad for democracy. I know that many organisations and individuals, including Jo Johnson, the Universities and Science Minister, have been making the case for an exemption, as have more than 19,000 people who have signed the official petition that I started at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/122957. I am relieved that common sense seems to be prevailing on this issue.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
- The ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (http://www.cccep.ac.uk/) is hosted by the University of Leeds and the London School of Economics and Political Science. It is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (http://www.esrc.ac.uk/). The Centre’s mission is to advance public and private action on climate change through rigorous, innovative research.
- The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (http://www.lse.ac.uk/grantham) was launched at the London School of Economics and Political Science in October 2008. It is funded by The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment (http://www.granthamfoundation.org/).