Bergmans PR Consultants
Bergmans is a PR and lobbying firm specialising in the defence sector. It describes itself as “the optimum way to reach defence legislators and decision makers in the UK."
- Robin Ashby, managing partner and leader of Bergman's 'Government Affairs' wing.
- Roger Casale, listed on Bergman's website as one of the firms two 'speakers'. Casale was former MP for Wimbledon (1997-2005), who also has had his own parliamentary advisers company, Roger Casale Associates Ltd
Bergmans is a “strategic alliance partner” of the International Aerospace and Defence Network (IADN), a network of companies that “provides a broad range of consulting services and systems to a global customer base in aerospace, defence, and homeland security.” Ashby is IADN’s Chief Operating and Finance Officer. The Honorary Chairman of IADN’s International Advisory Board is Paul Keetch MP, a former Shadow Secretary of State for Defence from Jan 2004 to June 2005 and a member of the Committee on Arms Export Controls. IADN’s CEO and US Country President is Martin Fisher who runs three defence consultancies.
Ashby is also Chairman of the Advisory Board of Raynard Research, a lobbying consultancy run by Paul Keetch.
Ashby is also the founder and Director of the UK Defence Forum. The Forum says it “represents an opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to meet politicians, including those in Government, preparing for it or holding it to account; and to exchange information in confidence with them and others interested in defence, security and peace.” It considers all UK Parliamentarians to be ex offiicio members of the Forum. It is supported by arms companies including: BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, EADS, Finmeccanica, General Dynamics, QinetiQ, Raytheon, Rolls-Royce, Thales. The contact for the Forum is Bergmans.
The UK Defence Forum also provides support for the following All Party Parliamentary Groups, including the arrangement of dinners: the Army Group; the Group for the Reserve Forces; and the Royal Navy Group. Paul Keetch is member of the latter.
In June 2008 Bergmans' managing partner Robin Ashby was stripped of a Parliamentary pass given to him by Baroness Harris of Richmond, who reportedly recognised "that in view of Mr Ashby’s other commercial interests this arrangement is open to misinterpretation". However Ashby appears to have held another pass again between 2010 and early 2013 through the UK Defence Forum's support for All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Armed Forces. As of March 2013 he was also listed as a member of staff for UKDF patron and former defence minister Lord Moonie on the Lord's register of interests, which records the following details:
- Robin Arthur Ashby, "Director-General of UK Defence Forum Ltd, a think tank; Managing Partner, Bergmans (media relations and research); clients include Perseus Global Ltd (technology transfer in defence, medical, security and telecommunications). Visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1-4 December 2012, as part of UK Defence Forum delegation to gain an understanding of the political and security framework as related to the Saudi Government; airfare and accommodation provided by the Government of Saudi Arabia".
Ashby has always denied any conflict of interest arising from his holding of parliamentary passes.
Bergman's website does not list clients.
- Office: 0 (044)191 233 6311
- Mobile: 0 (044) 7947 114 820
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Addresses for correspondence:
- Head Office : Grainger Suite, Dobson House, Regent Centre, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 3PF
- London office : Suite 5, 60 Millbank, London SW1P 4RW