Political rivals turn out for lobbyist party

It’s been an exciting few days for the lobbyists of Connect Public Affairs, after the firm hit the front page of the Sunday Times this weekend (see post below).

And last night the fun continued at a booze-fuelled bash to celebrate the official launch of its re-incarnation as Connect Communications.

To usher in the radical change, agency boss Gill Morris invited a select gathering to witness herself ‘in conversation’ with political types including Kevin Maguire, Michael White and Iain Dale.

Morris, known as lobbying’s leading lady, got a few chuckles after expressing deadpan atonishment that she had hit the front pages merely ‘for providing advice to a client’. But the always entertaining Maguire came up with the line of the night, describing Alastair Darling as ‘a safe pair of eyebrows’…

Mind if I borrow that one, Kevin?

Later on, as the booze continued to flow, Labour digital wunderkids Alex Hilton and David Prescott were spotted on one side of the room. Meanwhile while Dale and fellow Tory blogger Jonathan Isaby were forming a separate huddle some yards away.

Sensing it was about to kick off, I sloped off to the pub with Public Affairs News editor Ian Hall, leaving the hardy trio of Connect director Matt Bryant, Fishburn Hedges director Simon Redfern and local government think–tank chief Andy Sawford ready to intervene.

Cheers lads!

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