Former Labour spinner Tim Allan has gone to great lengths to rebrand his lobbying consultancy as a re-energised, all-singing, all-dancing, Tory-friendly operation.
Recent hires at Portland include former Tory press chief George Eustice and The Sun’s political ed George Pascoe Watson. On top of this, the agency has recruited big-hitters Michael Portillo and Tony Ball to its part-time ‘advisory council’.
At the Tory conference, Allan was seen brandishing a new guide to the Tories (my copy must be stuck in the post) and even appearing on Channel 4 News to talk up his Tory credentials.
But will it work?
The final proof of the pudding will be in the new business that falls in to Portland’s clutches. And one big piece of business could soon be reeled in.
As the Tories edge closer to power, Virgin Media is poised to appoint a new agency to its lucrative public affairs account. As I reveal this week, Portland is going all out to land the £200,000 business – and is now within touching distance.
Virgin’s decision will not determine whether Portland’s rebrand is a success or failure.
But it will feed in to the picture…