Your agency is holding a planning session ahead of party conference season. A number of topics are covered, including ideas to help meet client needs. One colleague is an active party member and will be using a member’s pass to attend conference. He offers to see whether he can introduce a client at a local members-only reception and request to speak at the conference as a party member but on a subject that is relevant to a client.

There is a fine balance in determining the role of a consultant at a party conference.  APPC requires its members to adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of the Code.  Guidance on areas outside the Code (including Party conference passes) is given in answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the APPC website.  This FAQ advises members that, if consultants are to undertake client activities at conference, the member firm should purchase the conference pass.

Clause 12 of the APPC Code of Conduct states

Political practitioners must keep strictly separate from their duties and activities as political practitioners any personal activity or involvement on behalf of a political party, including as an office holder or candidate for office.