I wasn't surprised to hear Labour suddenly announce a manifesto commitment to "clean up lobbying" yesterday. It was a classic diversionary tactic, designed to deflect attention away from the fact that several of their MPs have apparently been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.
A register of lobbyists would not have prevented Byers doing what he allegedly did. Indeed, this is one area where the rules are crystal clear. Paid advocacy by MPs is already banned, and rightly so. A statutory register may or may not be a good idea, but it has nothing to do with this case, which appears to me to be about avarice and greed rather than anything else.
The question Labour should be asked is this: why has it taken this scandal, and thirteen years in government, for you to be pushed into action?