Lucy Gilchrist

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Lucy Gilchrist was appointed a senior account director with lobbying firm Hanover in November 2010 [1] and was an associate director until February 2014 when she left to become head of external affairs for PepsiCo.

Before working at Hanover, Gilchrist was head of Westminster communications for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party[2] and on the Conservatives' prospective parliamentary candidates list.[3] In January 2010 she was listed on the Westminster staff of David Mundell, the only Tory MP in Scotland.[4]

Gilchrist is said to be 'an active member' of the Conservative Party. In early 2009 she reportedly sat 'on the Conservative City Future Steering Board and Research Unit respectively and she was also on the 'Approved List of Candidates for both Scotland and England and on the City Seats Initiative (East London) team.'[5]

Gilchrist maintained a blog at the Centre for Policy Studies and was listed as the 'Westminster Liaison' for the short-lived think tank Social Justice Scotland, where her biographical note failed to mention either her role at the Conservative Party or her history as a lobbyist.[6]

Screengrab of People: Lucy Gilchrist, SJS website, 'This is Google's cache of http://www.cs360hosting.co.uk/sjs/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61&Itemid=70. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 14 Dec 2009 19:55:47 GMT.', Retrieved 9 February 2010

Gilchrist was, until late 2009, a lobbyist with FD Public Affairs[7], and prior to that at LLM Communications. She first appeared on the APPC register with LLM in June 2005[8] shifting as the name changed to the hybrid FD-LLM in March 2007 and then to FD Public Affairs in September 2008.[9]

Education and early career

Lucy Gilchrist is an 'MA Graduate of International Relations and Spanish from the University of St Andrews'.[10] She 'initially worked in communications within the NHS in Scotland', and then worked in political monitoring 'as an Account Executive and subsequently an Account Manager for DeHavilland Information Services.'[11]
Screengrab of FD Public Affairs staff page describing Lucy Gilchrist from Zoominfo cached version of http://www.fdpublicaffairs.com/team11.html. 'This web page was cached by Zoom Information Inc. on 9/26/2009.' Captured 13 February 2010
Screengrab of 'Conservative Business Relations' page describing Lucy Gilchrist from Zoominfo cached version of http://www.conservativebusinessrelations.com/text/contact_area.asp?ref=11. 'This web page was cached by Zoom Information Inc. on 10/12/2008.' Captured 13 February 2010.

Energy and fracking lobbying

FrackWell.png This article is part of the Spinwatch Fracking Portal and project

At Hanover, Gilchrist was responsible for the energy and environment portfolio. She has led advocacy-driven reputation management programmes for the Government of Alberta, Shell and Homesun. She also advised controversial fracking firm Cuadrilla, Omya, Tata Steel and 192.com. [12]

Conservative activist

A 2008 biographical note on the Conservative Business Relations website notes that 'She is an active member of the Conservative Party, as Chair of the the London-Scottish Tories and on the Approved List of Candidates.'[13] In 2008 The Scotsman referred to Gilchrist as a 'Scottish Tory and potential parliamentary candidate' who is 'the party's biggest rising star north of the Border.'[14]

Spinning for NCR

In March 2009 while at FD Public Affairs Gilchrist worked on the account of US based firm NCR a longtime FD client. Her name appeared alongside the NCR 'Director of Global PR', Richard Maton[15] on a news release announcing NCR's closure of its operation in Dundee[16]

The Dundee Evening Telegraph reported the news as follows:

Dundee was dealt another massive jobs blow today when NCR announced it was shedding 252 posts at its Gourdie plant — and ending manufacturing in the city after more than 60 years. The company delivered the bombshell — blamed on “unprecedented contraction in the global economy” — to staff at mass meetings this morning.

Gilchrist was on hand to refuse comment:

NCR spokesperson Lucy Gilchrist would not comment on whether individuals had been told they were to be made redundant. She said that process would form part of the consultation to begin next week.[17]

Blogging for the Centre for Policy Studies

Screengrab of Lucy Gilchrist's Blog at the Centre for Policy Studies, accessed 13 February 2010

Gilchrist has blogged for the Centre for Policy Studies, one of the original Thatcherite think tanks. Between May and September 2009 she wrote five blog entries, ranging in subject from the iniquities of the Criminal Records Bureau disclosure forms (a child protection measure)[18], benefit reform (a report on the 'Centre for Social Justice's policy briefing on their Dynamic Benefits report)[19], Aid policy (in which she discussed her 'visit to Rwanda with the Conservative Party social action Project Umubano')[20], voter turnout (if you don't vote: 'do you really deserve to be heard?'[21]) and Scottish devolution ('the latest Conservative pledge of more for less sits neatly within the Scottish psyche.'[22])

Threat to cut seats in Scotland

In February 2010 Gilchrist revealed that a David Cameron led government would seek to reduce the number of parliamentary seats in Scotland thus reducing the number of seats held by Labour and the other main parties:

Speaking to The Journal, Lucy Gilchrist, head of Westminster communications for the Conservative party, said: “If we win the general election, we would like to cut the number of MPs in Westminster. In accordance with this, it would entail an average UK constituency size in the region of 77,000.”
If the plans are made a reality, it would affect Scottish constituency boundaries. Based on Scottish government figures from 2006 the average voting age constituency population is 71,102. An average constituency population of 77,000 could mean that five of Scotland's 59 MPs could be cut.
The cuts are expected to negatively affect Labour heartlands in Scotland and Wales.
The Conservatives have promised to seek independent expert advice from the Boundary Commission, which normally undertakes a review every eight to 12 years.
“We are sensitive to the complexities of the issue, such as how to represent the Highlands and Islands effectively, and also to the fact that the size of seats in Scotland has already been increased to English levels [in 2005],” said Ms Gilchrist.[23]

Affiliations

FD Public Affairs | FD-LLM | LLM Communications | Centre for Policy Studies | Social Justice Scotland | London Scottish Conservative Club

Contact

Email: lgilchrist@hanovercomms.com
Twitter: @hanovertweets

Notes

  1. Hanover Lucy Gilchrist - Senior Account Director, accessed 25 February 2011
  2. Matthew Moore Conservatives ponder further cuts to Scottish MPs, The Journal, Wednesday 03 February 2010, The Journal Issue 30
  3. Centre for Policy Studies Lucy Gilchrist's Blog, accessed 12 February 2010
  4. REGISTER OF INTERESTS OF MEMBERS’ SECRETARIES AND RESEARCH ASSISTANTS UK Parliament, (As at 6 January 2010), accessed 13 February 2010
  5. FD website, accessed Feb 2009
  6. Screengrab of People: Lucy Gilchrist, SJS website, 'This is Google's cache of http://www.cs360hosting.co.uk/sjs/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61&Itemid=70. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 14 Dec 2009 19:55:47 GMT.', Retrieved 9 February 2010
  7. 'The Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party has hired its first head of Westminster comms. The role has been taken by Lucy Gilchrist, who was vice president at FD Public Affairs.'('The week in lobbying', prweek.com, 03 December 2009, 12:16pm );See also FD Public Affairs, APPC Register Entry for 1 June 2009 to 31 August 2009, Spin Profiles; APPC Register for 1 September 2009 to 30 November 2009, spinprofiles
  8. APPC Register June 2005-November 2005, Spinprofiles
  9. APPC Register Mar 2007 - May 2007; APPC Register Sept 2008 - Nov 2008
  10. Screengrab of FD Public Affairs staff page describing Lucy Gilchrist from Zoominfo cached version of http://www.fdpublicaffairs.com/team11.html. 'This web page was cached by Zoom Information Inc. on 9/26/2009.' Captured 13 February 2010]
  11. Screengrab of FD Public Affairs staff page describing Lucy Gilchrist from Zoominfo cached version of http://www.fdpublicaffairs.com/team11.html. 'This web page was cached by Zoom Information Inc. on 9/26/2009.' Captured 13 February 2010
  12. Lucy Gilchrist Associate Director, undated, acc October 2013
  13. Screengrab of 'Conservative Business Relations' page describing Lucy Gilchrist from Zoominfo cached version of http://www.conservativebusinessrelations.com/text/contact_area.asp?ref=11. 'This web page was cached by Zoom Information Inc. on 10/12/2008.' Captured 13 February 2010.
  14. Ross Lydall 'Cameron&Co 'will take five years to win over Scotland'' The Scotsman, Published Date: 01 October 2008
  15. LinkedIn Richard Maton, accessed 13 February 2010
  16. NCR NCR announces proposed restructuring in Dundee News Release, March 12, 2009, accessed 13 February 2010
  17. 252 jobs to go at NCR Dundee, Evening Telegraph, 12 March 2009, Accessed 13 February 2010
  18. Lucy Gilchrist 'Regulating against volunteering' Centre for Policy Studies Blog, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 14:41 , accessed 19 February 2010
  19. Lucy Gilchrist 'The way ahead for benefit reform' Centre for Policy Studies Blog, Thursday, 24 September 2009 12:40, accessed 19 February 2010
  20. Lucy Gilchrist 'Aid policy in the 'era of austerity'' Centre for Policy Studies Blog, Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:18, accessed 19 February 2010
  21. Lucy Gilchrist 'Get out the vote' Centre for Policy Studies Blog, Thursday, 04 June 2009 11:05 , accessed 19 February 2010
  22. Lucy Gilchrist 'A union worth defending' Centre for Policy Studies Blog, Thursday, 14 May 2009 14:18, accessed 19 February 2010
  23. Matthew Moore, Conservatives ponder further cuts to Scottish MPs, Wednesday 03 February 2010, The Journal Issue 30, Accessed 13 February 2010.