Lexington Communications

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The view out to High Holborn from the Connection
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Lexington Communications is a PR and lobbying company based in London.




Lexington provides PR and lobbying services to a slew of genetically modified (GM) crop companies: BASF, Syngenta, Novartis, the umbrella group the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (see below), as well as the Crop Protection Association, which represents the interests of the pesticides industry.

Lexington has Monsanto and the Agricultural Biotechnology Council listed among its clients in the APPC Register of lobbyists for 1 December 2008 to 28 February 2009.[1]

Biotech front groups

In 2003, Lexington was hired by the corporate front group the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC). ABC's founder members are Monsanto, Bayer CropScience, BASF, Dow Agrosciences, Dupont and Syngenta[2]. At the same time Lexington hired Bernard Marantelli, a PR operative from Monsanto. Part of his job in 2003 was to run a pro-GM PR campaign for the ABC to educate 'regulators, legislators, retailers and consumer groups'. The budget was £250,000, the same amount of money that was originally proposed for the whole national Public Debate on GM in the UK, held in 2003.[3]

The name of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council also succeeded in creating confusion in the public's mind because of its similarity to the government-appointed Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission.[4]

In early 2008 it was revealed that GM food companies had lobbied the government department responsible for GM to be allowed to hide the locations of crop trials. Lexington confirmed its involvement in this as part of its work covering “all aspects of external communications” for the ABC.[5]

Lexington also works for GM industry lobbying group, CropLife International and was working for CropGen, another biotech front organisation which was run by Countrywide Porter Novelli. The Chair of CropGen is Vivian Moses who is also on the advisory board of the Scientific Alliance, another pro-biotech front organisation.[6]


Bernard Marantelli also convinced about 30 companies to come to a meeting to explore setting up a nanotechnology equivalent of the ABC. The Nanotech Association, which is run out of the same offices as Lexington, was launched in February 2005.[7]

Working for the developers

Lexington is also involved in lobbying government on behalf of developers and the house-building sector, providing services to, among others, Tesco, Peel Holdings, Wharf Land Investment, Places for People Developments, BeeBee Developments and Gladedale. Lexington is able to provide inside political knowledge of the sector at both a national and local level: Director Jo-Anne Daniels previously spent nine years as a senior civil servant at the Treasury, was an advisor to Gordon Brown, and managed and published the significant Barker Review on housing in 2004.[8] Also Richard Thomas, who joined in 2008, was previously Cabinet Member for Regeneration on Southwark Council, with political responsibility for one of London’s largest regeneration programmes, the redevelopment of Elephant & Castle. On taking the job, Thomas agreed with Lexington not to work on matters relating to his previous role with Southwark Council. [9]


  • Mike Craven, founding partner. Craven is a former adviser to the UK's Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, and former chief media spokesperson for the Labour Party. Craven is also a former boss of GPC Market Access. It was accused by transparency campaigners in Brussels Corporate Europe Observatory of waging a 'massive disinformation campaign' over its campaign on patenting genes.[10]
  • Ian Kennedy, founding partner. He specialises in issues management and lobbying. He is a former Labour party adviser who worked for senior government ministers while Labour was in Opposition. He worked on both the 1992 and the 1997 Election campaigns.[11]
  • Simon Jones - associate director. 'Helps clients develop political strategies and campaigns to inform the policy agenda. He has a unique insight into the Coalition Government having been the Conservative parliamentary candidate in the marginal seat of Dagenham and Rainham in 2010 and working as an adviser to Lord Ashcroft at KPMG. [12]
  • Gabriel Abulafia - Director. Specialises in property and planning practise. Prior to joining Lexington, Abulafia was assistant to David Blunkett, Alan Milburn, Stephen Byers and Karen Buck.
  • Joanne Bullen - Director.
  • Nigel Warner - Director. Prior to joining Lexington, Warner was special advisor to former Labour politician, Mo Mowlam, from 2002-2006 Warner was Director at Lexington, in 2006 he became special advisor to Tessa Jowell, in 2008 Warner became Public Affairs Director at ITVplc. Warner is now an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Staff according to APPC Register for 1st March 2014 - 31st May 2014 Gabriel Abulafia | Tom Arnold | Allum Bokhari | Paul Boyfield | Joanne Bullen | Caitlin Cooper | James Crowne | Chris Cuddihy | Ella Fallows | James Ferguson | Jessica Fine | Juliette Gerstein | Edward Grieve | Michael Haw | Matthew Hill | Peter Jones | Owen Larter | Jennifer Lipman | Robert Loughenbury | Francis Mallinson | Andrew Marshall | Helen Martin | Bronagh McClosky | Allona McCloy | Declan McHugh | Lloyd Milton | Charlotte Morris | Tom Morrison-Bell | Caroline Nagle | Jackie Nally | Jennifer Ousbey | Emma Pemberton-Eccles | Laura Russell | Will Sherlock | Paul Simpson | Paul Street | Sandamali Sutton | Lisa Timothy | Helen Walsh | Nigel Warner | Cath Warren | Jennifer White | Kevin Whitmore | Alice Wood [13]

Former staff and consultants

  • Owen Bethell - senior consultant. Advised clients with complex communications challenges. Before joining Lexington, Owen worked in public affairs consultancy and in Opposition for Rt. Hon. Oliver Letwin MP, currently Minister of State at the Cabinet Office. [14]
  • Damian Collins, now a Conservative MP
  • Sarah Doyle, Former director specialising in advising companies based in the health, science and pharmaceutical sectors. Doyle is also a founder of the science think tank Newton's Apple.[15]
  • Lisa Tremble, director. She is a former special adviser to Labour ministers Charles Clarke, James Purnell and David Miliband. Joined Lexington in October 2010 [16], left in September 2013 to join solicitors Mishcon de Reya as external affairs director.



Agricultural Biotechnology Council | Air Liquide | Air Products | Alumno Developments | Anne Boden Associates | Arqiva | Barrat Homes | Barwood | Bellway | Bloor Homes | British Airways Plc | British Land | BSNA | BUPA | Burtons | Capital Communications | Celgene | City & Guilds | Cycle Alert | David Wilson Homes | ENRC | Ethical Medical Industry Group | Fairview Estates (Housing) Ltd | Ford Motor Company Ltd | G15 | Gladman | Goldman Sachs International | Heath Holdings | Himor | Hippodrome Casino | Island Gas | Jelson | Linden Homes | Marketing Manchester | Mars UK Ltd | Merck, Sharp & Dohme Ltd | Motion Picture Assocation | MSP | National Australia Group | NBC Universal | Newcastle Race Course | Njord | Northern Trust | Opus Land | PACT | Peel Land & Property Ports Ltd | Persimmon | Pfizer Premier League | Property Alliance Group | RLAM | Segro Plc | Selbourne Group | Solicitors Regulation Authority | Stocks Hall | Taylor Wimpey | Tesco | The Anderson Group | Time Warner | TV Tax Coalition | United Utlities | UPS Europe [13]

Lobbying clients listed in 2013-14 include

Lobbying clients listed in 2012 include

Lobbying clients listed in 2011

[19] 118118 | Advertising Association | Agricultural Biotechnology Council | Ainscough Strategic Land | Bloor Homes | British Airways | British Recorded Music Industry | BSNA | Directly Operated Railways | E.On | Enterprise UK | Ethical Medical Industry Group | FDA | First Light | Ford Motor Company | Goldman Sachs International | Goldtique | Grantham | Greene King | Gresham House | Harrow Estates | HNJV | Island Gas | Mars UK | Monks Cross | Motion Picture Assocation | NBC Universal | Novartis | Oddfellows | PACT | Parks Partnership | Peel Land & Property Ports | Pfizer | Premier League | RLAM | RSA | Satnam | SEGRO Plc | Shell | Solicitors Regulation Association (SRA) | Taylor Wimpey | Terrace Hill Group | Tesco | The Co-operative Trust | The Legacy Trust | Time Warner | UCB Pharma | United Utilities | UPS Europe

Lobbying clients listed in 2009:[20]
Agricultural Biotechnology Council | Alexandra Palace Authority | Advertising Association | Balfour Beatty | BeeBee Developments | British Airways | Crop Protection Association | Design and Artists’ Copyright Society | Disasters Emergency Committee | EdExcel | Ethical Medicines Industry Group | Ford | CropLife International | Goldman Sachs | Green Property | Gladedale Group | HNJV Ltd | Kraft Foods UK Ltd | Landmark Information Group | Livingstone Group | Merck Sharp & Dohme | Mars UK | National Australia Group | National Heritage Lottery Fund | NBC Universal Pictures | Novartis | Places for People | Phonographic Performance Limited | Prudential Corporation | Pye Homes | Royal & SunAlliance | RAL | AEA/Scottish Power | SEGRO Plc | Solicitors Regulation Authority | Syngenta | Tesco | The Christie NHS Foundation Trust | Trainline Holdings | Travelodge | UCB Pharna | UPS Europe | Whaftland Investments


The Connection, 198 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BD

The Connection, view from High Holborn
Lexington is based on the top two floors of The Connection, Dragon Lane, Covent Garden, London, a new 3,500 sq.m. office building located between High Holborn and Stukeley Street, wrapped around the southern flank of the old Holborn Town Hall.[21]




  1. Lexington Communications, APPC Register Entry for 1 December 2008 to 28 February 2009, accessed 23 Mar 2010
  2. ABC website, undated, accessed March 2006
  3. Andy Rowell, "The alliance of science", The Guardian, March 26, 2003
  4. Andy Rowell, "The alliance of science", The Guardian, March 26, 2003
  5. Lexington linked to biotech body, PR Week, February 21 2008
  6. Andy Rowell, "The alliance of science", The Guardian, March 26, 2003
  7. "Lobby and PR groups go for nano honeypot", Corporate Watch, Newsletter 26, October/November 2005
  8. Lexington website, accessed Nov 2008
  9. Lexington website, accessed Nov 2008
  10. "Industry and the EU Life Patent Directive", Corporate Europe Observatory Newsletter, No. 1, May 1998
  11. Lexington website, accessed Feb 2009
  12. Simon Jones, Lexington Communications website, accessed 4 June 2012
  13. 13.0 13.1 APPC Register for 1st March 2014 - 31st May 2014, accessed September 2014
  14. Owen Bethell, Lexington Communications website, accessed 4 June 2012
  15. [www.newtons-apple.org.uk Newton's Apple think tank website], accessed Feb 2009
  16. Matt Cartmell, David Miliband's adviser Lisa Tremble moves to Lexington Communications, PR Week, 7 October 2010, accessed 13 October 2010.
  17. APPC Register Register for 1st March 2014 - 31st May 2014
  18. [APPC Register Entry for 1 December 2011 to 29 February 2012], Feb 2012
  19. APPC register, Nov 2011
  20. APPC register, to Nov 2008
  21. Christian Garnett Partners website - The Connection, undated, accessed March 2006
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