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The lobbying controversy that has enveloped Westminster is a complex and fast-developing story but there is one strand running right through the centre of it – the smartphone.

WhatsApp and text messages have replaced face-to-face meetings and letters as the favourite method of communication for politicians.

The casual, and sometimes untraceable, nature of these communications can make it harder for the Civil Service to ensure everyone – ministers, officials, businesses and lobbyists – plays by the rules.

It wasn’t that long ago that everything was typed out in triplicate, and phone calls were routed through Whitehall switchboards, with

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