Bell Pottinger Public Affairs

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Twenty-pound-notes.jpg This article is part of the Lobbying Portal, a sunlight project from Spinwatch.
Bell Pottinger Public Affairs (BPPA) was one of the lobbying divisions of Bell Pottinger Communications, one of the largest public relations companies in the United Kingdom. It went into administration in September 2017.

Background

BPPA previously operated within the public relations division of Chime Communications plc, until a management buy-out by Bell Pottinger Communications in July 2012.

Previously BPPA's stated aim was to "work closely with clients to ensure that their case hits home with the people who matter most... We make sure that our clients know the politics, policies, people and process that drive decisions. We advise our clients on what to say, how to say to it, who to and when." [1]

Today, BPPA "help[s] organisations engage with their stakeholders, manage their reputations and run campaigns to achieve change. The team is highly experienced in guiding clients through national and local government and the complexities of the legislative and regulatory process.

Our consultants combine technical knowledge with an unrivalled understanding of local and national politics. We offer a broad range of services including strategic counsel, issues and crisis management, reputation management, contact programmes, research and analysis, regulatory advice, campaign management, political monitoring, intelligence gathering and communications audits. BPPA is a member of the Public Relations Consultants Association [PRCA] and is bound by its professional code of conduct. [2]

Opposing transparency

BPPA was for many years one of the largest lobbying firms that refused to disclose its client list. Giving evidence to MPs conducting the Parliamentary inquiry [3] into lobbying in March 2008, Peter Bingle, Chairman of BPPA, said "The public has no right to know who our clients are". [4] Bingle also voiced his resistance to closer scrutiny of the industry in an opinion piece in PR Week in September 2007. When the inquiry was announced, he wrote: “There is no point rehearsing in public the view that we welcome the inquiry. We don’t. I have yet to meet a member of the industry who does… The real issue is that the industry needs a public voice with the ability to make a convincing case and to disarm the doubters… Now is not the time for faint hearts.” [5]

In its written evidence to the told the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee on Lobbying: Access and Influence in Whitehall (PASC) Bell Pottinger Public Affairs argued that they did comply with the APPC code in all respects apart from disclosing their client list “which we cannot do as we have confidentiality clauses with some clients and others are covered by national and personal security obligations” [6]

In 2009 Bell Pottinger Public Affairs told the PASC inquiry that, “We think that it would be an unnecessary burden for Parliament to be a regulator of our industry, and that it would be an unnecessary burden on the public purse for there to be an external authority”. [7]

Bell Pottinger finally joined the self-regulatory body the Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) in spring 2013.

Influencing government policy

In early 2007, BPPA produced the Brown Book, essential, at around £5000, for “anyone with an interest in the interplay between politics and business”. It includes a 40 page chapter on “who to know” in Gordon Brown’s government. [8] The Independent on Sunday reported it had seen an email from a leading lobbyist bragging how it is cashing in on its "unrivalled expertise and links to the Brown camp". [9]

In September 2006, PR Week reported that "senior politicians including two Cabinet members pulled out of evening receptions organised by Bell Pottinger Public Affairs at the Labour conference this week ... following revelations that the firm was charging clients fixed fees to meet them." Chairman of BPPA, Peter Bingle admitted: “They didn't want to be linked to the idea of cash for access”. An email leaked to The Times indicated that clients would be charged some £5,000 for the opportunity to meet with Lord Falconer, Stephen Timms, Richard Caborn and Kevin Barron MP. [10]

Caught on camera boasting of access and 'dark arts'

In an undercover investigation conducted in June and July 2011, BPPA was secretly filmed boasting once again about its access, this time to the Coalition government, and how it uses ‘dark arts’ to bury bad coverage and influence public opinion. Reporters from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism posed as agents for the brutal Uzbek government dictatorship and representatives of Uzbekistan's cotton industry.

As part of their pitch, BPPA executives claimed they had persuaded David Cameron to speak to the Chinese premier on behalf of one of their business clients, within 24 hours of asking him to do so. They also boasted about Bell Pottinger’s access to the Foreign Secretary William Hague, to Cameron’s chief of staff Ed Llewellyn and to Cameron’s old friend and closest No 10 adviser Steve Hilton. [11] The revelations, published in the Independent, led to an investigation by the industry body PRCA and also saw the PRCA withdraw from the UK Public Affairs Council and endorse the government’s decision to introduce a statutory register of public affairs practitioners. [12]

Among other dark arts tactics, BPPA also recommended using an event run by the think tank Policy Exchange as a root to influencing UK government policy. The firm's managing director, Tim Collins, also recommended a meeting with its Chairman Daniel Finkelstein, who he said was very close to David Cameron.[13]

Bell Pottinger quoted the Uzbek representatives a potential ‘£1 million-plus’ fee for carrying out the work.[11]

No impact whatsoever

Chairman Lord Bell claimed in March 2012 however that the negative headlines about BPPA's ethical practices resulting from the Bureau's sting operation had had 'no effect whatsoever' on trading.

BPPA parent company Chime Communications had announced a 4% rise in like-for-like income for the year ended 31 December 2011, but saw its PR revenues fall by 7% on a like-for-like basis. Revenues were up by 10% overall to £163.6m.

‘The phone never stops ringing - we’re pitching all the time and continuing to win business.’ Bell said he was awaiting results of his company's complaint to the regulator, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) about the Independent's 'inaccuracy' and 'deception'. [14]

Bell's PCC complaint dismissed

In July 2012 the PCC threw out Bell's complaint, ruling that the Independent's undercover filming of Bell Pottinger PR executives discussing work for the Uzbekistan government was 'justified in the public interest'. [15]

Fracking industry

FrackWell.png This article is part of the Spinwatch Fracking Portal and project
BPPA was retained from May 2013 until February 2014 to provide public affairs advice to Cuadrilla Resources, whose controversial operations in Balcombe, West Sussex, prompted anti-fracking protesters to superglue themselves to Bell Pottinger's London headquarters on 19 August 2013. [16] [17] During this time one of its PR executives, Mark Linder, was also responsible for Cuadrilla's corporate development. [18]

BPPA appears to have lost the account after February 2014, although continues to lobby on behalf of energy giant and Cuadrilla part-owner Centrica, whose account it has handled since March 2014. [19]

Its ongoing relationship with Centrica prompted anti-fracking campaigners to target Bell's London offices once again in April 2017, where a group dressed in animal masks occupied the firm's lobby to 'expose' what they call the agency's "continual support for fracking" as part of a two-week action aimed at companies involved in the fracking supply chain.

Reclaim the Power activist Ash Hewitson told PR Week companies like Bell Pottinger were 'crucial' for the fracking industry. 'Through their partnership with Cuadrilla and Centrica, they work to further the fracking agenda and suppress the stories of resistance and opposition on the ground,' he said. The group threw leaves, spread manure and sprayed 'squid ink' on the windows. [20]

The APPC register for the quarter ending 31 May 2013 included the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, which now owns 20 per cent of IGas Energy. [17]

Clients

The list is long, but notable contracts include:

Iraq

In March 2004 BPPA won a $5.8m (£3.2m) four-month contract from the US-supported administration in Iraq to promote the establishment of democracy ahead of the handover of power to the interim Iraqi authority on 30 June. According to PR Week, the contract also included promoting the election of an Iraqi government.

B-PC will work with its Dubai operation Bates PanGulf, and Baghdad-based media services company Balloch & Roe. A small team will be sent to work with Balloch & Roe's Arabic writers who will advise on how best to cross the cultural divide," PR Week reported.[21]

The project team, according to PR Week was to be headed by Mark Turnbull and the head of BPPA's Dubai office Tom Mollo. The Independent (UK) reported that company founder Tim Bell described his role as "masterminding the campaign in London". [22]

APPC Register

Clients registered on the APPC Register as of 4 February 2014 included Big Four accountancy firm Deloitte, Imperial Tobacco, mining companies Cuadrilla and Rio Tinto, the Government of Serbia, DSM, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, National Grid, Prime Minister's Office of the United Arab Emirates, OGN Group, Qatari Diar Responsible Gambling Trust, SABMiller, Barrow Cadbury Trust.[17]

Clients registered on the APPC Register to the quarter ending 31 May 2013 included Big Four accountancy firm Deloitte, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, China National Offshore Oil Corporation and News International.[16]

June 2016-August 2016

Affinity Water | All Party Parliamentary Group for Justice for Equitable Life Policy Holders | Arqiva Limited | Atos IT Services UK Limited | Bank of Ireland | Blackonyx Developments Ltd | BlackOnyx Group | British Gas | British Horseracing Authority | Brookfield Multiplex | Cargo Logic Air UK | Central London Commercial Estates Limited | Centrica | Chalegrove Properties Ltd | Derwent London plc | DS Smith plc | Equitable Members Action Group | Frazer-Nash Research Limited | Grafton Advisors (2006) LLP | Heads of The Valleys Development Company | Holocaust Memorial Day Trust | Johnston Press | Lapis Middle East & Africa FZ-LLC | Martins Properties (Chelsea) Ltd | Martin's Design and Construction Limited | Martin's Properties (Parsons Green) Ltd | New West End Company | NMC | Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan | Provident Financial | Qatari Diar | Queensgate Investments | Saab | Sabadell | TalkTalk | TSB | Waitrose | West Horsley Developments Limited | Wren House Infrastructure Management Limited | Yahoo! UK & Ireland [23]

March 2016-May 2016

Affinity Water | Alberta Investment Management Corp | All Party Parliamentary Group for Justice for Equitable Life Policy Holders | Arqiva Limited | Atos IT Services UK Limited | Bank of Ireland | BC Chelsea Limited | BL Developments Limited Blackonyx Developments Ltd | Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc | Bristol Airport Limited | British Gas | British Horseracing Authority | Brookfield Multiplex | Canary Wharf Group Cargo Logic Air UK | Centrica | Chalegrove Properties Ltd | Deloitte LLP | Derwent London plc | DS Smith plc | Equitable Members Action Group | Fenton Whelan | Frazer-Nash Research Limited | Greybull Capital LLP | Hermes GPE Infrastructure Fund LP | Hermes Infrastructure (SAP I) LP | Horticultural Place Developments Ltd | Johnston Press | Monarch Group | New West End Company | NMC | Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan | Provident Financial | Qatari Diar | Quintain | Responsible Gambling Trust | Saab | TalkTalk | TSB | Waitrose | Wren House Infrastructure Management Limited | Yahoo! UK & Ireland [24]

December 2014-February 2015

All Party Parliamentary Group for Justice for Equitable Life Policy Holders | Anglia Natural Gas SRL | Arun District Council | Associated British Ports | Bank of Ireland | British Horseracing Authority | Brookfield Multiplex | Canary Wharf Group | Centrica | Chronicle Partners LLP | Derwent London | Direct Marketing Association | Dukes Lodge (Guernsey) Ltd | Elysian Residences | Equitable Members Action Group | Etihad | Fenton Whelan | Friends Life | Hach Lange | Iglo | Imperial Tobacco | Johnston Press | Lodha Group | Maples and Calder | Monarch Group | New West End Company | Nuclear Industry Association | Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan | Provident Financial | Qatari Diar | Responsible Gambling Trust | Saab | SOCO International plc | TalkTalk | The Unite Group | TSB | Veolia | Waitrose | WaterUK | Xcite Energy[25]

September 2014-November 2014

All Party Parliamentary Group for Justice for Equitable Life Policy Holders | Anglia Natural Gas SRL | Arun District Council | Associated British Ports | Association of Drainage Authorities | Bank of Ireland | British Horseracing Authority | Brookfield Multiplex | Canary Wharf Group | Centrica | Chronicle Partners LLP | Derwent London | Direct Marketing Association | Dukes Lodge (Guernsey) Ltd | Elysian Residences | Equitable Members Action Group | Etihad | Fenton Whelan | Friends Life | Government of Serbia | Hach Lange | Hays plc | HM Treasury | Iglo | Imperial Tobacco | Lodha Group | London School of Business and Finance | Monarch Group | Nuclear Industry Association | Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan | Provident Financial | Qatari Diar | Responsible Gambling Trust | Saab | Scotia Gas Networks | TalkTalk | The Unite Group | TSB | University of Sussex | Veolia | Waitrose | WaterUK | Xcite Energy[26]

June 2014-August 2014

60 SA Limited | All Party Parliamentary Group for Justice for Equitable Life Policy Holders | Anchorage Capital | Arun District Council | Associated British Ports | Association of Drainage Authorities | Bank of Ireland | British Horseracing Authority | Brookfield Multiplex | Canary Wharf Group | Centrica | Chronicle Partners LLP | Deloitte | Derwent London | Destination Bristol | Direct Marketing Association | Dukes Lodge (Guernsey) Ltd | Equitable Members Action Group | Etihad | Family Mosaic | Fenton Whelan | Friends Life | Government of Serbia | Hach Lange | Heart of London | Iglo | Imperial Tobacco | Lodha Group | London School of Business and Finance | Nuclear Industry Association | Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan | Provident Financial | Qatari Diar | Responsible Gambling Trust | Royal London Society for Blind People | Saab | Scotia Gas Networks | Serbian Progressive Party | TalkTalk | The Unite Group | TSB | University of Sussex | Veolia | Waitrose | WaterUK | Xcite Energy[27]

March 2014-May 2014

60 SA Limited | Aberdeen Asset Management | All Party Parliamentary Group for Justice for Equitable Life Policy Holders | Associated British Ports | Bank of Ireland | Barrow Cadbury Trust | British Horseracing Authority | Brookfield Multiplex | Canary Wharf Group | Central London Commercial Estates Ltd | Centrica | Corporate City Developments No.2 Ltd | Deloitte | Derwent London | Destination Bristol | Dialogue Advisory Group | Direct Marketing Association | ENRC | Equitable Members Action Group | Etihad | Family Mosaic | Friends Life | Frontier Estates | Government of Serbia | Hach Lange | Heart of London | Iglo | Imperial Tobacco | Latvian Non-Citizens' Congress | Lodha Group | Monarch | Murco | Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan | Project Met Grape Street Ltd | Provident Financia | Qatari Diar | Responsible Gambling Trust | Rivada Networks | Royal London Society for Blind People | Saab | Scotia Gas Networks | TalkTalk | Temasek | The Hospital Club | The Unite Group | Tidal Lagoon Power | TSB | Veolia | Waitrose | WaterUK [28]

December 2013-February 2014

Aberdeen Asset Management | Alderton Park Ltd| All Party Parliamentary Group for Justice for Equitable Life Policy Holders | Associated British Ports | Association of Drainage Authorities | Bank of Ireland | Barrow Cadbury Trust | Black Onyx Developments Ltd | Bristol Green Capita | British Horseracing Authority | Brookfield Multiplex | Canary Wharf Group | Central London Commercial Estates Ltd | Centrica | Chartered Institute of Arbitrators | Clivedale Ventures | Codemasters | Corporate City Developments No.2 Ltd| Cuadrilla | Defence Infrastructure Organisation | Deloitte | Dialogue Advisory Group | Direct Marketing Association | DSM | ENRC | Equitable Members Action Group | Etihad | Family Mosaic | Friends Life | Frontier Estates | Gala Coral | Good Energy | Heart of London | Imperial Tobacco | Komixx Entertainment | Lodha Group | London Councils | Monarch | National Grid | Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan | Orion Capital Managers | Premier Oil | Project Met Grape Street Ltd | Provident Financial | Qatari Diar | Responsible Gambling Trust | Saab | Scotia Gas Networks | Stannah | TalkTalk | Thames Water | The Hospital Club | Tidal Lagoon Power | Veolia | Waitrose | WaterUK [29]

September 2013-November 2013

Aberdeen Asset Management | All Party Parliamentary Group for Justice for Equitable Life Policy Holders | Bank of Ireland | Barrow Cadbury Trust | Birds Eye | Black Onyx Developments Ltd | Canary Wharf Group | Central London Commercial Estates Ltd | Chartered Institute of Arbitrators | Clivedale Ventures | Codemasters | Corporate City Developments No.2 Ltd | Cuadrilla | Deloitte | Dialogue Advisory Group | Direct Marketing Association | DSM | Equitable Members Action Group | Etihad | Family Mosaic | Friends Life | Frontier Estates | Gala Coral | Good Energy | Government of Serbia | Grantham Properties | Guildford Borough Council | Heart of London | Imperial Tobacco | Komixx Entertainment | London Councils | Lothian Partners | Monarch | National Grid | OGN Group | Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan | Orion Capital Managers | OSI Group | Prime Minister's Office of the United Arab Emirates | Project Met Grape Street Ltd | Provident Financial | Prysmian | Qatari Diar | Quantum Alpha | Responsible Gambling Trust | Royal London Society for Blind People | Saab | SABMiller | St James's Place | Stannah | TalkTalk | Thames Water | The Hospital Club | Tidal Lagoon Power | Veolia | Waitrose [30]

June 2013-August 2013

Aberdeen Asset Management | All Party Parliamentary Group for Justice for Equitable Life Policy Holders | Bank of Ireland | Berkeley Group | Brockton Capital | Canary Wharf Group | Chartered Institute of Arbitrators | Codemasters | Cuadrilla | Deloitte | DGRE Developments | Direct Marketing Association | DSM | Equitable Members Action Group | Etihad | Government of Serbia | Grantham Properties | Heart of London | Imperial Tobacco | Komixx | National Grid | NT Advisors | OGN Group | Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan | Orion Capital | Park Group | Powerperfector | Precise | Provident Financial | Prysmian | Qatari Diar | Quantum Alpha | Red Bull | Responsible Gambling Trust | Rio Tinto | Saab | SABMiller | Scottish Widows Investment Partnership | Sirius Minerals | Stannah | TalkTalk | Telford Homes | Thames Water | TPG | Waitrose | Walpole [31]

March 2013-May 2013

Aberdeen Asset Management | All Party Parliamentary Group for Justice for Equitable Life Policy Holders | Bank of Ireland | Berkeley Group | Borealis | Brockton Capital | Canary Wharf Group | Chartered Institute of Arbitrators | China National Offshore Oil Corporation | Codemasters | Cuadrilla | Deloitte | DGRE Developments | Direct Marketing Association | DSM | Equitable Members Action Group | Etihad | Grantham Properties | Imperial Tobacco | Maersk Oil | Morgan Sindall | National Grid | News International | NT Advisors | Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan | Orion Capital Managers | Ovo Energy | Park Group | Powerperfector | Precise | Provident Financial | Prysmian | Qatari Diar | Quantum Alpha | Red Bull | Responsible Gambling Trust | Rio Tinto | RWE npower renewables | Saab | SABMiller | Scottish Widows Investment Partnership | Sirius Minerals | Stannah | TalkTalk | Telford Homes | TPG | Voreda | Waitrose | Walpole | Westfield [32]

December 2012-February 2013

Aberdeen Asset Management | Ascertiva | Bank of Ireland | Berkeley Group | Canary Wharf | China National Offshore Oil Company | Chartered Institute of Arbitration | Codemasters | Cuadrilla | Deloitte | Derwent London | Direct Marketing Association | DSM | Etihad | Equitable Members Action Group | Fortune Forum | G4S | Grantham Properties | GVA Second London Wall | Hach Lange | Imperial Tobacco | Inmarsat | Intellectual Property Lawyers Association | LXB Properties | Maersk Oil | Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company | Mondelez | National Grid Holdings | National Grid Property | Oil & Gas UK | Ovo Energy | Park Group | PowerPerfector | Premier Oil | Provident Financial | Prysmian | Qatari Diar | Red Bull | Responsible Gambling Trust | Rio Tinto | Royal Mail Estates | Saab | Sam Laidlaw | SABMiller | Sirius Minerals | Stannah | STL Technologies | Talk Talk plc | Texas Pacific Group | The Hospital Club | Threadneedle | Viktor Yushchenko | Vanquis | Voreda | Waitrose | Water UK | Westfield [33]

2011

Clients listed on the PRCA Register in November 2011:[34] Ascertiva | Asda (property) | Astrazeneca | BACTA | Bank of Ireland | Barrowfen | Beit Issie Shapiro | Berkeley Homes | Berwin Leighton & Paisner | BT Health | BXL Consulting | Canary Wharf | Capital & Counties | Carlyle Group | Citibank NA | Constellation | |Delancey | Deloitte | Derwent London | Direct Marketing Association | DSM | Dyson | Emirates Airlines | Equitable Members Action Group | European Care Group | First Base | Food and Drink Federation | Imperial Tobacco | Inmarsat | Kellogg’s | Kingsley Napley | Ladbrokes | Law Society | Lend Lease | Lloyds Action Now | Long Harbour | Lonhro | M3 Consulting | Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company | Matterhorn Capital Properties (via Assaei) | McGrigors | Morgan Sindall | Motor Sports Association | National Grid Holdings | National Grid Property | Oil & Gas UK | Ovo Energy | Park Group | Permira | Places for People | Police Federation | Port of Dover | PowerPerfector | Princes Securities | Provident Financial | Ranger Services | Rebekah Brooks | Red Bull | Rio Tinto | Rolls Royce | Royal Bank of Scotland | RoSPA | Royalton | Royal Mail Estates | Rydon Homes | Saab | Southern Cross Healthcare | Stannah | St James | STL Technologies | Talk Talk | Tottenham Hotspur FC | University and College Union | Voreda | Waitrose | Wates | Wheelsure | Zurich Assurance (DMP Putney)

Clients listed to February 2011[35] Alstom Power | Anadarko | Ascertiva | Aspers | Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers | Astrazeneca | BAE Systems | BACTA | Bank of Ireland | Berkeley Homes | BT MPP | Canary Wharf | Capital One Partners | Carlyle Group | Citibank NA | Constellation | Courtauld Institute |Deloitte | Derwent London| Eclipse Hotels | Emirates | Equitable Members Action Group | Fluor | Food and Drink Federation | Frasers – Camberwell | Global Warming Policy Foundation | Government of Bahrain | GSG Holdings | Historic Royal Palaces | HomeSun | Imperial Tobacco | Inmarsat | Jacobs | Kellogg’s | Ladbrokes | Law Society | Mercedes-Benz | Motor Sports Association | National Grid Commercial | National Grid Property | Park Group | Permira | Places for People |Port of Dover | Port of London Authority | Press Complaints Commission | Provident Financial | Red Bull |Rio Tinto |Rolls Royce | Royalton Ltd | Stannah | St James | Sunderland City Council | TAG Farnborough Airport | Tottenham Hotspur FC | Treasury Holdings | University and College Union | Visteon | Voreda – Woodlands | Waitrose

Clients in March 2008 (as listed on BPPA website)

Iraq

In March 2004 BPPA won a $5.8m (£3.2m) four-month contract from the U.S. supported administration in Iraq to promote the establishment of democracy ahead of the handover of power to the interim Iraqi authority on 30 June. According to PR Week, the contract also includes promoting the election of an Iraqi government.

"B-PC will work with its Dubai operation Bates PanGulf, and Baghdad-based media services company Balloch & Roe. A small team will be sent to work with Balloch & Roe's Arabic writers who will advise on how best to cross the cultural divide," PR Week reported.[36]

The project team, PR Week reports will be headed by Mark Turnbull and the head of BPPA's Dubai office Tom Mollo. The Independent (UK) reported that company founder Tim Bell described his role as "masterminding the campaign in London". [37]

Defence

In 2003 BAE Systems appointed Bell Pottinger Public Affairs to look at improving their corporate reputation with political and business audiences. The account was led by Peter Bingle. In 2004, Charlotte Lambkin, who had been Director of Bell Pottinger Corporate & Financial was appointed the BAE Group Communications Director. “We hired Bell Pottinger for Piers [Pottinger],” Lambkin said in 2005. “He has a strong relationship with Mike Turner [chief executive at BAE Systems] and he is also contactable when I want him.”[38]

BAE was recently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office for allegedly “bribing” Saudi generals. The Guardian reported that “A well-orchestrated PR campaign, involving BAE's lobbyists, veteran fixer Tim Bell… was already setting up a chorus that the latest Saudi arms contract was in danger, threatening up to 100,000 jobs.” According to the report, the campaign saw MPs from all parties urging the investigation be dropped, citing fears that jobs would be lost in their constituencies. The Government blocked the SFO inquiry in December 2006, claiming it would endanger Britain's security.[39]

In April 2011 it was reported that BAE had replaced BPPA with lobbying firm Portland PR after staging a six-way pitch for the account, with Fleishman-Hillard (F-H) one of three latterly in the running.[40]

Public Private Partnerships

In 2001, Bell Pottinger picked up an account for the Public Private Partnership Forum, the consortium representing the largest organisations involved in pitching for Government contracts. Because of opposition to and controversy surrounding the London Underground PPP, the Forum felt it "better to concentrate our work on reminding people of the benefits of PPP as a whole." Bell Pottinger Public Affairs was hired to lobby both central government and opposition groups including trade unions. [41]

People

APPC UK

June 2016-August 2016

Kate Begg | Joseph Blenkinsop | Eva Brunner | Tim Collins | Dan Conway | Laura Davies | Emily Fermor | Emily Gainsford | Stuart Gardner | Jessica Goodrum | Ross Gurdin | Christopher Hall | Emma Henson | Beatrice Laurent | Jamie Lyons | Nancy Martin | Adrian McMenamin | Julie Minns | Paul Montague-Smith | Darren Murphy | Razi Rahman | Lewis Rodger | Susanna Silversol | Isabel Stephenson | Steve Summers [23]

March 2016-May 2016

Kate Begg | Joseph Blenkinsop | Eva Brunner | Tim Collins | Dan Conway | Laura Davies | Emily Gainsford | Stuart Gardner | Jessica Goodrum | Ross Gurdin | Christopher Hall | Emma Henson | Jamie Lyons | Nancy Martin | Adrian McMenamin | Julie Minns | Paul Montague-Smith | Darren Murphy | Razi Rahman | Lewis Rodger | Isabel Stephenson | Steve Summers [24]

December 2014-February 2015

Beth Armstrong | Richard Arnold | Kate Begg | Joseph Blenkinsop | Luke Chauveau | Luke Chauveau | Tim Collins | Dan Conway | Olivia Gleeson | Daniel Hamilton | Christopher Harris | Julia Ioannou | Liz Lynch | Jamie Lyons | Adrian McMenamin | Julie Minns | Paul Montague-Smith | Darren Murphy | Claire O'Connor | Hamza Omaar | Ania Podeszwa | Eugene Quinn | Razi Rahman | Lewis Rodger | Vanessa Samuels | Paul Scaping | David Simon Santinan | Steve Summers | David Wilson[25]

September 2014-November 2014

Beth Armstrong | Richard Arnold | Kate Begg | Joseph Blenkinsop | Anderona Cole | Tim Collins | Dan Conway | Olivia Gleeson | Daniel Hamilton | Christopher Harris | Julia Ioannou | Liz Lynch | Jamie Lyons | Adrian McMenamin | Julie Minns | Paul Montague-Smith | Darren Murphy | Claire O'Connor | Hamza Omar | Eugene Quinn | Razi Rahman | Lewis Rodger | Vanessa Samuels | Paul Scaping | David Simon Santinan | Steve Summers | Hugh Taggart | David Wilson[26]

June 2014-August 2014

Sophie Adamson | Richard Arnold | Kate Begg | Frances Beves | Joseph Blenkinsop | Andy Bloxham | Gurpreet Brar | Juliet Chaplin | Anderona Cole | Tim Collins | Dan Conway | Annabel Gaba | Daniel Hamilton | Christopher Harris | David Hill | Julia Ioannou | Maria Jennings | Christine Johnson | Rebecca Lloyd Wright | Emily Luscombe | Liz Lynch | Jamie Lyons | James McLoughlin | Paul Montague-Smith | Darren Murphy | Claire O'Connor | Hamza Omar | Beatrice Petit Bon | Eugene Quinn | Razi Rahman | Kevin Read | Lewis Rodger | Vanessa Samuels | Paul Scaping | Helen Silver | David Simon Santinan | Steve Summers | Hugh Taggart | Sarah Taylor | Chris Watts | David Wilson[27]

March 2014-May 2014

Sophie Adamson | Richard Arnold | Frances Beves | Andy Bloxham | Gurpreet Brar | Juliet Chaplin | Anderona Cole | Tim Collins | Dan Conway | Annabel Gaba | Daniel Hamilton | Christopher Harris | David Hill | Julia Ioannou | Maria Jennings | Christine Johnson | Rebecca Lloyd Wright | Emily Luscombe | Liz Lynch | Jamie Lyons | James McLoughlin | Paul Montague-Smith | Hamza Omar | Beatrice Petit Bon | Eugene Quinn | Kevin Read | Lewis Rodger | Vanessa Samuels | Paul Scaping | Helen Silver | David Simon Santinan | Steve Summers | Hugh Taggart | Sarah Taylor | Chris Watts | David Wilson [28]

December 2013-February 2014

Sophie Adamson | Richard Arnold | Frances Beves | Will Blair | Andy Bloxham | Gurpreet Brar | Juliet Chaplin | Tim Collins | Dan Conway | Annabel Gaba | Daniel Hamilton | David Hill | Julia Ioannou | Maria Jennings | Christine Johnson | Christian Klapp | Rebecca Lloyd Wright | Stephen Lotinga | Emily Luscombe | Liz Lynch | Jamie Lyons | James McLoughlin | Paul Montague-Smith | George Parkinson | Beatrice Petit Bon | Ania Podeszwa | Eugene Quinn | Kevin Read | Vanessa Samuels | Paul Scaping | Helen Silver | Steve Summers | Sarah Taylor | Chris Watts | David Wilson [29]

September 2013-November 2013

Sophie Adamson | Richard Arnold | Frances Beves | Will Blair | Andy Bloxham | Gurpreet Brar | Juliet Chaplin | Tim Collins | Dan Conway | Annabel Gaba | Alice Gillham | Daniel Hamilton | David Hill | Julia Ioannou | Maria Jennings | Christine Johnson | Christian Klapp | Rebecca Lloyd Wright | Stephen Lotinga | Emily Luscombe | Liz Lynch | James McLoughlin | Paul Montague-Smith | Jane Nkune | George Parkinson | Beatrice Petit Bon | Ania Podeszwa | Eugene Quinn | Kevin Read | Paul Scaping | Helen Silver | Steve Summers | Sarah Taylor | Chris Watts | David Wilson [42]

June 2013-August 2013

Frances Beves | Will Blair | Andy Bloxham | Gurpreet Brar | Juliet Chaplin | Tim Collins | Joe Coney | Dan Conway | Annabel Gaba | Alice Gillham | Daniel Hamilton | David Hill | Julia Ioannou | Maria Jennings | Christine Johnson | Sirin Kamalvand | Christian Klapp | Rebecca Lloyd Wright | Stephen Lotinga | Emily Luscombe | Liz Lynch | James McLoughlin | Paul Montague-Smith | Jane Nkune | George Parkinson | Kevin Read | Paul Scaping | Helen Silver | Steve Summers | Sarah Taylor | Chris Watts | David Wilson [43]

March 2013-May 2013

Will Blair | Gurpreet Brar | Tim Collins | Joe Coney | Dan Conway | Annabel Gaba | Daniel Hamilton | David Hill | Julia Ioannou | Sirin Kamalvand | Christian Klapp | Stephen Lotinga | Liz Lynch | James McLoughlin | Paul Montague-Smith | Jane Nkune | George Parkinson | Paul Scaping | Helen Silver | Steve Summers [44]

December 2012-February 2013

Tim Collins | Paul Montague-Smith | Daniel Hamilton | Stephen Lotinga | Gurpreet Brar | Liz Lynch | Iain Wood | Paul Scaping | Claire Jakobsson | Helen Silver | George Parkinson | Steve Summers | Joseph Coney | Jane Nkune | Christian Klapp | Dan Conway | James McLoughlin | William Blair | Nicholas Hyett | Julia Ioannou [33]

Revolving door

  • David Hill: Hill rejoined Bell Pottinger as Director for the Group in September 2007 having served four years as Tony Blair’s director of communications (he replaced Alastair Campbell in 2003) [45] He is Director for the Bell Pottinger Group based in The Collective, "where senior Bell Pottinger employees share clients with 'cross-group requirements'” [46]. Prior to becoming Tony Blair's right hand man, Hill spent five years as MD of Bell Pottinger Good Relations, another Bell Pottinger company. During this time Hill returned to the Labour Party HQ at Millbank on “unpaid leave” from Good Relations, as a senior press spokesman for the 2001 election campaign. Prior to that he was director of communications for the Labour Party from 1991 to 1999. [47] His long-term partner is Hilary Coffman, a press officer at Downing Street. [48]
  • David Sowells MD at BPPA, Sowells was a member of the Labour Party’s economic secretariat for three years in opposition. His past clients include McDonald's, Vickers, 3i, Camelot and BNFL. [49] [50]
  • Neil Stockley Director at BPPA since January 2002, according to its website, Stockley's specialist area is energy and environment policy. He is a former Director of Policy for the Liberal Democrats, a member of the party’s Federal Policy Committee and in 2007 chaired the working group that developed a new climate change policy for the Liberal Democrats. [51]
  • Jonathan Caine Caine joined BPPA as a Director in March 2007 after spending eight-and-a-half years as an assistant director of the Conservative Research Department, based at Conservative Campaign Headquarters in Westminster. According to its website, at various times, hewas the principal adviser to successive Leaders of the Opposition and members of the shadow cabinet on Constitutional Affairs, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. He also served as a member of William Hague’s PMQ preparation and speechwriting teams. From 1991-95 he was special adviser to two successive Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland, and from 1989-90 a member of Mrs Thatcher’s Political Office in 10 Downing Street. He worked alongside David Cameron in the Conservative Research Department from 1988-91 and as a fellow special adviser from 1992-95. [52]
  • Luke Chauveau According to BPPA's Chauveau’s sector specialism is the defence industry. He received the BAE Chairman’s Award for improving BAE Systems’ reputation within Government and has advised firms on procurement projects with the Ministry of Defence, including The Future Defence Supply Chain Initiative. He joined BPPA in 2001 having previously been PR manager for the chairman of Press Complaints Commission, Lord Wakeham. Chauveau started his career in public affairs at Westminster Strategy then as a researcher at Conservative Central Office. [53]

Former staff

  • Julie Minns: Left BPPA in September 2016 to join the UK's largest electrical distributor UK Power Networks, as head of customer engagement, overseeing external communications, stakeholder engagement and sustainability [54]

Former executives

  • Peter Bingle: Was chairman of BPPA until 2012, Bingle is a former Conservative councillor who has close personal links with MP Nick Brown; they are said to frequently attend the opera together[55]. Brown is a former agriculture minister and a leading backbench ally of Gordon Brown. Nick Brown, godfather to one of Mr Bingle's children, has a “reputation as a political fixer". [56] He also attended a client dinner hosted by BPPA at Labour's 2006 conference. [57]

Contact information

Address:Holborn Gate,
330 High Holborn,
London,
WC1V 7QD
Telephone: +44 20 3772 2500
Email: info@bellpottinger.com
Website: www.bell-pottinger.co.uk

External resources

  • Press Complaints Commission, Complainant Name: Bell Pottinger Group Clauses Noted: 10 Publication: The Independent, Date Published: 26/07/2012

References

  1. Bell Pottinger Public Affairs BPPA website (link now broken)
  2. 2.0 2.1 New appointments by Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, Bell Pottinger Private, acc 19 November 2013
  3. Public Administration Select Committee inquiry into lobbying 2007-08.
  4. Tamasin Cave, "The public has no right to know", Spinwatch, 18 March 2008.
  5. Peter Bingle, "Now is the time to pull together and salvage our reputation", PR Week, 06 September 2007.
  6. House of Commons, Public Administration Select Committee, Lobbying: Access and Influence in Whitehall First Report of Session 2008–09 Volume II, accessed 18th December 2011
  7. House of Commons, Public Administration Select Committee, Lobbying: Access and Influence in Whitehall First Report of Session 2008–09 Volume II, accessed 18th December 2011
  8. Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, Brown Book
  9. Francis Elliott, Independent on Sunday, "Revealed: How £5,000 buys the secrets of Brown's dream team", 18 February 2007.
  10. Ravi Chandiramani, "BPPA under fire over 'cash for access'," PR Week UK (sub req'd), 28 Sep 2006.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Melanie Newman, PR uncovered: Top lobbyists boast of how they influence the PM, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 5 December 2011
  12. David Singleton, Lobbying row as PRCA withdraws from the UK Public Affairs Council, prweek.com, 09 December 2011, accessed 12 Dec 2011
  13. Melanie Newman, Oliver Wright, 'Caught on camera: top lobbyists boasting how they influence the PM', Independent, 6 December 2011
  14. Independent's Bell Pottinger stories have had 'no impact', says Bell, PR week, 09 March 2012, accessed 14 March 2012
  15. Josh Halliday, PCC dismisses Bell Pottinger complaint over secret filming for Independent, theguardian.com, Thursday 26 July 2012 14.05 BST
  16. 16.0 16.1 APPC Register 1 March - 31 May 2013
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 APPC Register
  18. Tom Bawden, Cuadrilla PR man admits George Osborne's shale gas revolution won’t cut energy bills, 20 August 2013
  19. *Centrica bought a 25 per cent share of Cuadrilla's Lancashire fracking operation and licence.
  20. Robert Smith , A group of anti-fracking protesters dressed in animal masks, PR Week, 10 April 2017, accessed 21 August 2017
  21. [Ian Burrell, “Lord Bell set to promote democracy in new Iraq”, The Independent, March 13, 2004, p11
  22. [1]
  23. 23.0 23.1 Bell Pottinger Political Register, APPC, accessed on 10 October 2016.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Bell Pottinger Political staff, APPC, accessed 15 June 2016
  25. 25.0 25.1 Register 1st December 2014 - 28th February 2015 APPC, accessed 9 March 2015
  26. 26.0 26.1 Register 1st September 2014 - 30th November 2014 APPC, accessed 15 January 2015
  27. 27.0 27.1 1st June 2014 - 31st August 2014 APPC, accessed 16 October 2014
  28. 28.0 28.1 APPC Register for 1st March 2014 - 31st May 2014, accessed September 2014
  29. 29.0 29.1 Register for 1st December 2013 – 31 February 2014 ‘’APPC’’, accessed 1 October 2014
  30. Consultancies – September to November 2013 PRCA, accessed 1 October 2014
  31. Consultancies – June to August 2013 PRCA, accessed 1 October 2014
  32. Consultancies – March to May 2013 PRCA, accessed 1 October 2014
  33. 33.0 33.1 Consultancies – December 2012 to February 2013 ‘’PRCA’’, accessed 1 October 2014
  34. PRCA register, to Nov 2011
  35. PCRA, PRCA Public Affairs Register – December 2010 to February 2011 accessed 7th December 2011
  36. [Ian Burrell, “Lord Bell Set To Promote Democracy In New Iraq”, The Independent, March 13, 2004, p11
  37. [2]
  38. BAE Systems press release, 15 Oct 2004
  39. 'National interest' halts arms corruption inquiry, David Leigh and Rob Evans, The Guardian, 15 December 2006
  40. PAN News, April 2011, pdf version.
  41. Joe Lepper, "PPP companies move to step up lobbying efforts", PR Week UK (subscription required), 03 August 2001.
  42. Register for 1st September 2013 - 30th November 2013 ‘’APPC’’, accessed 1 October 2014
  43. Register for 1st June 2013 - 31st August 2013 ‘’APPC’’, accessed 1 October 2014
  44. Register for 1st March 2013 - 31st May 2013 ‘’APPC’’, accessed 1 October 2014
  45. Chime Communications press release, 12 September 2007.
  46. Bell Pottinger 'Collective']
  47. Mark Hollingsworth, An infestation of lobbyists, The Guardian, 06 June 2001.
  48. BBC profile on Hill, 29 August 2003
  49. BPPA website, accessed December 2007
  50. Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, David Sowells
  51. Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, Neil Stockley
  52. Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, Jonathan Caine
  53. Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, Luke Chauveau
  54. Rebecca Smith, UK Power Networks appoints Bell Pottinger partner to new senior comms role, PR Week, 23 September 2016. Accessed 20 October 2016.
  55. Profile, Peter Bingle, Pr Week, April 2008
  56. The Brown Book, BPPA publication, 2007.
  57. Francis Elliott, "Revealed: How £5,000 buys the secrets of Brown's dream team", Independent on Sunday, 18 February 2007

External links