The hiring of Ruth Davidson by Tulchan Communications has been condemned by Francis Ingham, Director General, of the trade body PRCA
“It is simply wrong for lobbying agencies to employ legislators. The possible conflict of interest in doing so is clear, and damages the reputation of both our industry, and of the political process. PRCA members are prohibited from employing parliamentarians – and with good reason. Unlike the vast majority of its competitors, Tulchan is not a PRCA member. But in the public interest, we would nonetheless urge them to reconsider this appointment.”
Tulchan is headed by former Tory party Chairman Lord Feldman, who is also a member of the House of Lords. Another active member of the House of Lords is Lord Myners. Myners is also chairman of Edelman UK, one of the world’s largest PR firms, which is also a leading member of the PRCA.
When Guido asked the PRCA how they reconciled their biggest member being chaired by a parliamentarian, the spinner for the spinners at first said it was different because Myners was unelected, Guido pointed out Myners was still a parliamentarian, the spinner than argued that it was a ceremonial role, Guido than explained that Lord Myners actually makes and votes on laws and his role is not ceremonial. The spinner than said he would ask Francis Ingham to get back to Guido…
UPDATE: Francis Ingham gets back to spin “There is an enormous gulf between a non-executive director who has been made a Peer as an honour, and an MP or MSP whose full time job is to be an elected politician.” Lord Myners votes and makes laws. Not sure how that is alright because he only does it only part-time – it also means PRCA members are employing parliamentarians – which is supposedly against the rules.
Edelman get in touch:
“Paul Myners does not advise clients nor does he do public affairs work for Edelman. He is a cross-bench peer who chairs Edelman’s Advisory Board, which gives strategic advice and provides external challenge to the UK management team. This is entirely within the PRCA rules.”
All within the rules. That has a familiar ring to it.
Bell Pottinger has been expelled by the PRCA trade body over the South Africa scandal. The firm has been banned from joining again for five years. PRCA chief Francis Ingham says:
“Bell Pottinger has brought the PR and communications industry into disrepute with its actions, and it has received the harshest possible sanctions. The PRCA has never before passed down such a damning indictment of an agency’s behaviour.”