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all party group sets up talks with minister

November 2001

The UK’s all party parliamentary group on corporate social responsibility will question the CSR minister about his role at its first meeting this month.

The group, which is now officially registered and has 40 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords, will talk to Douglas Alexander behind closed doors.

The crossbench peer Baroness Greengross, who will chair the CSR group, will be supported by the Labour MP for Ilford North, Linda Perham, in the role of secretary. Vice-chairs will be David Drew (Stroud, Labour Co-op), Ian Taylor (Esher & Walton, Conservative), Michael Moore (Tweedale, Ettrick & Lauderdale, Liberal Democrat), Lord Sheppard of Didgemere, a Conservative peer and former chief executive of United Biscuits, and Lord Holme of Cheltenham, a Liberal Democrat who is special advisor to the chairman of Rio Tinto.

The group is expected to meet several times a year, with financial backing for its activities coming from PricewaterhouseCoopers and administrative support from Business in the Community.

It intends to raise the profile of CSR within parliament, identify ‘parliamentary champions’ to talk about the issue to the media, and work with civil servants to ensure CSR issues are addressed across all government departments.

Seventy MPs have now signed an early day motion demanding that members of the £300million ($435m) Parliamentary Pensions Fund should have the option to have their money invested according to ‘explicit ethical investment criteria’ that exclude tobacco and arms firms. Earlier this year the fund’s trustees told its managers, Cazenove and Barings, to take an ethical approach but did not exclude any specific sectors.




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