A mole gets in contact. Following the news that Bell Pottinger is cancelling its champagne reception at the Tory conference, the agency’s public affairs chairman Peter Bingle has sent a note to his team:
‘There is a different more sombre mood at Westminster. MPs now look over their collective shoulders. The old confidence and swagger has gone. The Palace of Westminster is a rather sad place….
‘Somehow the public’s trust in their elected representatives must be rebuilt. The next government is going to have to deal with the most enormous challenges. To be effective it will need to carry the public with it. To do that, politics must once again become important and relevant to the everyday lives of the public.
‘The public affairs world has its role to play in this process. When we do our job well we ensure proper dialogue between government and outside interests (commercial and non-commercial) which leads to better governance and good laws being passed. Our role is particularly important during times of change. We are sometimes attacked for what we do but most politicians understand our role and work well with us. Friendships at Westminster are not and never have been beholden to one’s political party.
‘This year’s party conference season is going to be the most important since 1996. Political change is in the air but the air is sombre and serious. It is for that reason that we will not be holding our annual party. This year’s party conferences will be different and rightly so. We need to respect that.
‘At some stage in the future the political and public mood will change. It is important that it does so as there should always be room for fun in politics.’