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Lobbyists' register would have made 'no difference'

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude Credit: Daybreak

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has said that a statutory register of lobbyists, as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has called for, would have made "no difference at all" to recent allegations of lobbying.

"There are already rules which say that MPs cannot take money as an advocate in Parliament," he told Daybreak.

He added that the former Conservative MP Patrick Mercer's alleged offence was "against the rules," but that there was a "perfectly proper need" for professional lobbyists.