Andrew Hood

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Andrew Hood is a former special adviser to Labour Secretaries of State Robin Cook and Geoff Hoon[1] who went on to work in the lobbying industry.


Hood studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Oxford, and went on to complete a Masters in Politics at Birkbeck College in London. He was special adviser firstly to former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, and later to former Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon. Hood reportedly "made his name" preparing former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook for the Commons debate on the Scott Report (the Report of the Inquiry into the Export of Defence Equipment and Dual-Use Goods to Iraq and Related Prosecutions).[2] He said of Hoon that "In the way he works he is extremely methodical, and very competent. His approach is very much that of a barrister, so he works through issues, one by one."[3]

Hood twice stood to be selected as a Labour parliamentary candidate. Firstly, in 2000 for "the safe seat of Bassetlaw".[4] In 2001, Hood was part of a "convoy up the M6" hoping to be selected for Birmingham Erdington.[5] John Kampfner in the New Statesman writes:

Andrew Hood - who worked as special adviser to the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, and then to the Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon - was rejected in Bassetlaw. Undeterred, Hood went for Birmingham Erdington, a plum seat vacated at the last minute by Robin Corbett. It led to a high-profile tussle, in which Hood was perceived by local activists to be the tool by which London prevented them from getting in their own man. Ironically, he was beaten at the final selection hustings by the News of the World's Sion Simon, the epitome of the Blairite newspaper columnist.[6]

1998-present, Think tank involvement

The Foreign Policy Centre

In 1998, Hood was one of the Directors of the Foreign Policy Centre (FPC)[7] launched to promote New Labour's foreign policy agenda.[8] He is currently Chair of the FPC board.[9]

The Policy Network

In 2000, Hood launched the Policy Network "to bring together policy units and policy advisers from around the world".[10] In a 2001 article, it is noted that Hood was then editor for the Policy Network's journal.[11]

2002, Move into lobbying with the Brunswick Group

In 2002, Hood departed his role as special adviser in "controversial circumstances" by becoming a senior partner at lobbying and public relations firm the Brunswick Group.[12] PR Week reported that Hood was "poached" from his role at the Ministry of Defence, potentially leading to a conflict of interest:

Industry sources claim Hood's move may raise conflict of interest issues as Brunswick clients include Rolls-Royce and Smiths Industries, which both supply to the defence sector indirectly. However, an agency spokesman said the agency had no direct defence clients and that Hood's role would not involve client-facing work. 'There is no question or even the slightest possibility of any conflict of interest,' said the spokesman.[13]

BBC Radio’s programme 'Today' reported that MPs were claiming the lack of a 'cooling-off' period between Hood’s exit from the Ministry of Defence and appointment at Brunswick only days later breached civil service rules. A spokesperson from the Ministry of Defence told PR Week that:

MoD officials were satisfied that as Hood had not had official dealings with his prospective employer during his period of Crown service, there appeared no risk of criticism. The appointment did not need to be referred to us.

Although Brunswick clients Rolls-Royce and Smiths Industries indirectly supply defence firms, Brunswick management claimed they do not lobby on behalf of defence-related clients. Partner Kevin Byram insisted that "Andy Hood is running the private office of senior partner Alan Parker and is doing no client work".[14]

Contact, Resources, Notes


  1. Info-Dynamics Research, "Where are they now? The 1997/1998 Special Advisers to the Labour Government", GMB: April 2006 Briefing, p6, accessed 23.09.10
  2. Martin McElwee, "The Great and the Good? The rise of the new class", Centre for Policy Studies, p57, accessed 15.09.10
  3. Patrick Wintour, "The Guardian profile: Geoff Hoon", The Guardian, 23.01.04, accessed 23.09.10
  4. Paul Routledge, "Paul Routledge", New Statesman, 21.02.00, accessed 23.09.10
  5. Jo Dillon, "Turncoat MP barred from safe seats", The Independent, 25.03.01, accessed 23.09.10
  6. John Kampfner"When it's just a demotion to get elected", New Statesman, 14.05.01, accessed 23.09.10
  7. "Memorandum submitted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office responding to the Committee's questions on SDR", Select Committee on Defence, 10.09.98, accessed 23.09.10
  8. Antony Barnett, "Path to influence? The think-tanks", The Observer, 30.06.02, accessed 23.09.10
  9. "Josephine Osikena appointed as new FPC Director", Foreign Policy Centre, accessed 23.09.10
  10. Staff writers, "Brunswick poaches MoD's top adviser", PR Week UK, 24.05.02, accessed 23.09.10
  11. Kamal Ahmed, "Mandelson back as think-tank head", The Guardian, 09.09.01, accessed 23.09.10
  12. Info-Dynamics Research, "Where are they now? The 1997/1998 Special Advisers to the Labour Government", GMB: April 2006 Briefing, p6, accessed 23.09.10
  13. Staff writers, "Brunswick poaches MoD's top adviser", PR Week UK, 24.05.02, accessed 23.09.10
  14. Holly Williams, "Cabinet Office hits back at MPs over Hood role claims", PR Week UK, 13.06.02, accessed 23.09.10