Darren Murphy

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Twenty-pound-notes.jpg This article is part of the Lobbying Portal, a sunlight project from Spinwatch.
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Darren Murphy

Former Labour spin doctor Darren Murphy, joined political lobbying consultancy firm ACPO Worldwide in 2005. He left ACPO to set up his own agency, Centreground Political Communications in September 2011.[1]

In 2014 Bell Pottinger Communications bought out Centreground and Murphy was appointed chairman of its subsidiary Bell Pottinger Geopolitical.[2]

Tony Blair's former SPad becomes campaign and lobbying agency owner

Murphy is a former assistant political secretary and special adviser to former UK prime minister Tony Blair. PR Week reported that:

It is expected that the new operation will not be a straight public affairs outfit but will instead specialise in offering campaigning advice to governments, corporates and NGOs wishing to occupy the political centre ground.
It is understood Murphy, a loyal Blairite, plans to link up with a number of former colleagues who share his political outlook. A well-placed source said Murphy had spoken to a number of Blairites with campaigning experience about his new venture.
Murphy confirmed he had left APCO to establish the consultancy but said he was not yet in a position to speak further.[1]

In 2014, Bell Pottinger Communications bought Centreground Political Communications and Murphy started work at Bell Pottinger.

Revolving door: joins lobbying firm just two months after leaving government role

According to his ACPO Worldwide biography in 2005: [3]:

Mr. "Darren Murphy, director in APCO Worldwide’s London office, provides expertise in crisis communication, strategic communication and government relations as well as a unique insight into health care decision making at the highest level. Mr. Murphy is a former adviser to the Blair government, a position he held from May 1997 to September 2005"

So what happened to the Civil Service Code, which is meant to apply equally to Special Advisors as well as to Civil Servants ?

Leaving the Civil Service
26. The Business Appointment rules apply to all civil servants, including Special Advisers, for the first two years after leaving office. The rules are set out in Section 4.3, annexes A and B of the Civil Service Management Code. Decisions on applications submitted by Special Advisers will be taken by the Permanent Secretary.[4]

Darren Murphy appears on the current and the previous 1 June 2005 - 30 November 2005 (30 page .pdf - ACPO is the first alphabetical entry) Register of the Association of Professional Political Consultants i.e. he must have joined ACPO Worldwide less than 2 months after leaving his post as a special adviser.


See: Fracking lobbying firms


  1. 1.0 1.1 David Singleton, APCO's Darren Murphy to start venture with ex-Downing Street colleagues, 29 Sept 2011, accessed 5 Oct 2011
  2. Daniel Farey-Jones Bell Pottinger swoops on Centreground Political Communications PR Week, 11 June 2014, accessed 16 October 2014
  3. biography Darren Murphy
  4. (Civil Service Management Code (92 page .pdf))