Sheila Gunn

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Sheila Gunn is a lobbyist with Fleishman-Hillard, a member of the Conservative party and a Tory candidate in the 2005 General Election.

During the 2005 election campaign Spinwatch reported:

Meanwhile former Tory spin doctor and PR consultant Sheila Gunn is standing for the Tories in Slough. As well as being a PR consultant, in recent years Gunn has simultaneously been able to find time to be a Camden councillor and to turn her hand to academia. Strangely Gunn's profile on the Conservative Party website fails to mention that she works for a PR agency in central London. It has this to say of the relevant period:
Since 1997, she has focussed on reinvigorating the Party from the grassroots levels upwards, being elected a Camden Borough Councillor in 2002. She also devotes a considerable amount of time to improving the communications and campaigning skills of politicians in our sister parties abroad, especially in central Europe and Africa. In addition, she lectures on government and politics to postgraduate journalism students at The City University.
The entry on the City University website, where she teaches, is only slightly more forthcoming:

Sheila Gunn


Sheila has been involved in politics from various viewpoints for more than 30 years. She trained in local and regional newspapers, covering parish, borough and county councils, moving on to the Press Association at Westminster and then The Times's political staff, rising from parliamentary reporter to political correspondent and deputy editor of The Times Diary, until 1995 when she was appointed the then Prime Minister John Major's personal press adviser. She is now a political affairs consultant, Camden councillor and freelance political commentator.

Slightly abashedly, this profile does not mention that the PR company she works for is GPC International. This lobbying firm, based in an office above Covent Garden tube in central London lists its clients (Dec 2003- May 2004) as including some of the more dubious TransNational Corporations such as drug firms Pfizer, Bayer UK, Johnson and Johnson, Mining company Rio Tinto, Scottish Power, Rupert Murdoch's News International and BSkyB, as well as a spread of nuclear companies. GPC was, of course, also the firm involved in the 'lobbygate' scandal in which Derek Draper, was caught in a sting operation offering acceesss to New Labour through GPC. GPC International is in turn owned by one of the biggest PR companies in the world - Fleishman Hillard(FH) (See Sourcewatch entry on FH). FH is in turn part of the huge Omnicom group one of the big three global communications firms, which together with the fourth biggest - Publicis Groupe - between them own more than half of the global market in advertising, marketing, PR and lobbying. Still, no doubt GPC's salubrious client list and the fact that Gunn works for one of the biggest US firms in the world was left out of Gunn's Conservative Party profile as an oversight.

Spinwatch Resources

David Miller 'Fancy voting for a spin doctor?' Election spin blog, Spinwatch | 18 April, 2005 15:41