Adrian McMenamin

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Adrian McMenamin is a director at PR and lobbying agency Bell Pottinger.

He has held many roles in the UK Labour Party, including as a special adviser to former Welsh secretary Paul Murphy and was once described as 'a protege of fallen Labour spin supremo Peter Mandelson'.

More recently McMenamin worked at lobbying agencies APCO Worldwide and Centreground Political Communications, which was recently bought out by Bell Pottinger Communications.


After graduating from university, McMenamin began work at the National Organisation of Labour Students as vice chairman in 1987. In 1988 he was appointed publicity officer and later senior publicity officer at the London Housing Unit, working there at the same time as completing a postgraduate diploma in journalism studies at the University of Westminster from 1991 to 1993.

In 1993 McMenamin started the first of his many roles with the Labour Party when he was appointed press office, before being appointed taskforce leader for the attack and rebuttal team in 1996 and chief press and broadcasting officer in 1998.

In 1999 he was appointed special adviser to the Secretary of State for Wales, Paul Murphy, holding this role until 2002.

After leaving his role with Murphy, McMenamin was appointed head of campaign information at pressure group Britain in Europe.

He was appointed communications consultant to the Social Democratic and Labour Party, and was part of the team working on the 2003 Northern Ireland Assembly elections.

Following the Northern Irish elections, McMenamin was appointed press officer to the European Parliamentary Labour Party, where he was press secretary for the British delegation to the Party of European Socialists, worked with individual MEPs and for the European Labour Party as a whole.

In 2004 he worked as chief press and broadcasting officer with the Labour Party for the second time.

From 2005 to 2009 McMenamin worked at The Confederation of British Industry as head of campaigns, working on public service reform and then energy, transport and the environment.

He began work as an associate director at lobbying company APCO Worldwide in 2010.

In 2011 he moved to Centreground Political Communications as a director and worked there until Bell Pottinger's acquisition of the company, where he is now a partner.[1][2]


In 2001 the Register reported McMenamin's involvement in an apparent Labour online sock puppet campaign against Plaid Cymru:

The Labour Party has been heavily implicated in a political dirty tricks campaign carried out over the Internet. Thousands of anti-Plaid Cymru messages posted to various political newsgroups have been traced back to the Labour Party's communications headquarters in Millbank, London.
The messages, which attack Plaid Cymru (the Welsh nationalist party) councils and policies, were posted mainly on the wales.politics.assembly newsgroup and purported to be from members of the public. However, users of the newsgroup grew suspicious of "David Currie" and "Hairy Melon Jones" - a reference to Plaid Cymru assembly member Helen Mary Jones - and accused them of working for the Labour party, a charge that was denied online.
However, newsgroup members traced the messages over the Internet and found they had come from Millbank. Welsh national paper Wales on Sunday, ran its own investigation into the claims and came to the same conclusion. Confronted by evidence, Labour admitted the postings had come from its machines but said it was the work of a "volunteer" working in his own time.
Considering that David Currie has so far managed to post 2,971 messages* on 27 different newsgroups, since the middle of November - an average of 37 messages a day - you could be forgiven for thinking that Millbank knew exactly what was going on. Hairy Melon Jones has posted far fewer with only 38 messages since July last year, but they tend to be far more provocative.
Among the postings were accusations that Plaid Cymru was racist, wanted to put controls on English immigrants, was propping up Tory administrations, was responsible for future industrial action and was full of hypocrites. Plaid Cymru representatives are furious and have filed a motion in the Welsh National Assembly asking the first minister to distance himself from the messages. The party has also called for the resignation of Adrian McMenamin, a "special adviser" to Welsh secretary Paul Murphy. McMenamin - a protege of fallen Labour spin supremo Peter Mandelson - has been heavily implicated in ongoing investigations.
McMenamin also posted heavily to the same political newsgroups under his own name. His first posting came within days of David Currie's and since then he has written 358 messages on Deja newsgroups. Since November, McMenamin and "David Currie" have frequently supported one another's views. One posting, titled "English immigrants must be controlled - Plaid Cymru", was started by one Hairy Melon Jones and of the 51 responses, 22 were from David Currie and 2 from Adrian McMenamin - all critical of Plaid Cymru. Wales on Sunday is currently investigating whether Adrian has breached any political rules by posting his political views at all. The newsgroup itself bans party representatives from entering the discussion.
The whole issue raises the spectre of a co-ordinated propaganda campaign over the Internet by New Labour from Millbank as the election draws near. The position in Wales makes Labour particularly sensitive to Plaid Cymru. Of the 60 elected assembly members, 28 are Labour, 17 Plaid Cymru, 9 Conservative and 6 Liberal Democrat. Despite a coalition between Labour and the Lib Dems, the nationalist Plaid Cymru poses a significant threat to Labour's power in Wales.[3]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Adrian McMenamin Linkedin, accessed 15 January 2015
  2. Bell Pottinger to acquire Centreground Political Communications Bell Pottinger, 12 June 2012, accessed 15 January 2015
  3. Kieren McCarthy New Labour's Internet dirty tricks campaign exposed: Party employee peddles anonymous propaganda on political newsgroups The Register, 30th January 2001 14:10 GMT