A client is keen for the responsible government Minister to make an amendment to a Bill to benefit the client’s business. When discussing a forthcoming meeting with the Minister, the client tells you that his Chief Executive has been a long-standing supporter of the party in government, making annual donations of up to £50,000. He suggests mentioning this donation during the meeting with the Minister ”by way of calling in a favour after years of loyal support”.

In this case, even subtle reference to the annual donation could be construed as an incentive to amend the Bill to achieve the client’s objective.  In effect, the Chief Executive’s private donation to a political party would become a means of paying for favourable legislation and therefore constitute undue influence.

Clause 7 of the APPC Code of Conduct states

Save for entertainment and token business mementoes, political practitioners must not offer or give, or cause a client to offer or give, any financial or other incentive to any member of representative of an institution of government, whether elected, appointed or co-opted, that could be construed in any way as a bribe or solicitation of favour.  Political practitioners must not accept any financial or other incentive, from whatever source, that could be construed in any way as a bribe or solicitation of favour.