All-party parliamentary group
An all-party parliamentary group (APPG) is a grouping in the Parliament of the United Kingdom that is composed of members of parliament from all political parties, but have no official status within Parliament.
Description and functions
All-party parliamentary groups are informal cross-party groups of members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords and have no official status within Parliament. APPGs generally have officers drawn from the major political parties from both houses.
APPG members meet to discuss a particular issue of concern and explore relevant issues relating to their topic. APPGs regularly examine issues of policy relating to a particular areas, discussing new developments, inviting stakeholders and government ministers to speak at their meetings, and holding inquiries into a pertinent matter. APPGs have no formal place in the legislature, but are an effective way of bringing together parliamentarians and interested stakeholders.
Every APPG must hold at least two meetings during its reporting year, one of which must be an annual general meeting (AGM) or a meeting which involves an inaugural election of officers. APPGs cease to exist when Parliament is dissolved for a general election, and must be reconstituted.
The official register of APPGs is updated about every six weeks. The number of APPGs is very variable. For example, in 2015 there were more than 550 APPGs. On 2 January 2019, there were 692 APPGs. As of 24 February 2020, there were 355 APPGs.
APPGs are either country-based, such as the APPGs on Chile or Zimbabwe, or subject-based, such as the APPG on breast cancer, with the topics reflecting parliamentarians' concerns. As of June 2022[update], examples of subject-based APPGs include:
- Fire safety and rescue
Involvement of other bodies
APPGs allow campaign groups, charities, and other non-governmental organisations active in the field to become involved in discussions and influence politicians. Often a relevant charity or other organisation will provide a secretariat for the APPG, helping to arrange meetings and keeping track of its members. Examples of this include:
- Survival International acting as secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tribal Peoples.
- Humanists UK acting as secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group.
- The APPG on Christianity being administered by a staff member from the Bible Society.
- Housing Justice administering the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Homelessness and Housing Need.
- InterClimate Network acting as secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Youth Action against Climate Change.
- Polar Research and Policy Initiative acting as secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Greenland.
- Local Trust acting as secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for 'left behind' neighbourhoods.
Other ways of administering APPGs include borrowing capacity from an MP or peer's office, or by employing staff independently. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief, for example, employs two members of staff paid for through subscriptions from its stakeholders. The APPG on Agriculture and Food for Development uses a similar model.
Associate parliamentary groups
In the Parliament of the United Kingdom, an associate parliamentary group is similar to an all-party parliamentary group except that it is made up of not only members of the House of Commons or Lords but can also include members from outside Parliament.
In early 2016, the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists launched an inquiry into concerns that APPGs were being used to bypass lobbying registration rules, following reports that lobbyists were acting as APPG secretariats and so gaining access to legislators.
As sponsorship for trip to Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir" between 18 and 22 February 2020, the APPG on Kashmir (APPGK), chaired by Labour MP Debbie Abrahams, received a "benefit in kind" of amounting £31,501 (Rs 29.7 lakh) and £33,000 (Rs 31.2 lakh) on 18 February 2020 from the Government of Pakistan.
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