Russell Ullyatt, the aide to Conservative MP Kelly Block who was fired after leaking a pre-budget committee report to lobbyists, has testified that he applied for jobs at the five firms to which he sent the confidential information. This revelation comes after the report was shelved because of the leak, meaning the next federal budget—which will trigger an election if voted down—will be written without input from Parliament. “I understood after the fact the gravity of the error that I made,” Ullyat told the House of Commons procedure committee. Four of the lobbyists who received the report from Ullyatt had worked for the Conservatives before, while the fifth has contributed money to the party. The Tories have come under fire for the party’s close ties with lobbyists before, and tried to curb criticisms with new regulations on lobbying in 2006, but they only applied to MPs, ministers and cabinet staff, not staff to backbench MPs.
Tory aide applied to firms to which he leaked information
Pre-budget leak grinds budget consultations to a halt
FILED UNDER: lobbyists