Monthly Archives: November 2010

Jobs bonanza as Mandelson sets up lobbying shop

Staff at the WPP ad agency JWT had been wondering why Labour peer Lord Mandelson was spending so much time in their Knightsbridge offices recently.

Today all became clear as it emerged that Mandy and long-time ally Ben Wegg Prosser will launch a consultancy called Global Counsel, with backing from marcomms giant WPP.

Other mates of Mandy senior figures could join the fray soon. But the big question is this: will Global Counsel be staffed up enough for Mandy to have his own woman charged with throwing away his yoghurt pots, as witnessed in last week’s documentary?

Only one lobbying firm is still donating to Labour. But for how long?

Who’d have thunk it? The latest figures from the Electoral Commission suggest that lobbying firms are more interested in pouring money into Tory coffers than propping up Labour’s bank balance.

The Tories have taken almost £70,000 from lobbyists since the election, often as payment for tables at dinners etc. Indeed, certain agencies appear to have ceased coughing up for Labour events entirely as they turn their cheque books in the direction of the Tories.

But as some lobbyists switch sides, one agency is standing firm. 

Sovereign Strategy is yet to donate to the Tories and even donated a few bob to Labour in the last quarter-  before the new leader had been announced.

With Gordon gone and the new leader in place, Labour will be hoping that lobbying agencies are in the mood for coughing up more in the future.

But wiill Sovereign boss Alan Donnelly, a good pal of David Miliband, keep on donating with Ed at the helm?

Health Secretary in shock lobbyist snub

Since becoming Health Secretary a few months ago, Andrew Lansley has been a good friend of the corporate lobbyists.

His decision to abolish the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence followed intense lobbying by pharmaceutical firms, while plans to scrap the Food Standards Agency were music to the ears of the junk food industry which was already celebrating his kind offer on future legislation.

So it was a bit of shock this weekend to hear Lansley declare war on the tobacco industry with a proposal to remove all branding from cigarette packets.

Despite the issue kicking around for some time, it is the first time that Lansley has shown any interest.

Has he had a Damascene conversion? Or is he just looking for cover before he announces his next big engagement with corporate lobbyists?

I think we should be told.