Government of Bahrain

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PR and lobbying firms

n 2012 written evidence from Index on Censorship to House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, report summarised some of the political influence Bahrain had bought itself in the UK:

Bahrain is another authoritarian nation that is a significant spender on PR and lobbyists. It is estimated that since March 2011, Bahrain has paid £15 million to firms such as Bell Pottinger, Big Tent Communications, Gardant Communications, G3 Good Global Governance, Hill and Knowlton, M&C Saatchi and YouGovStone. 68
It also spends considerable sums on taking British politicians over to Bahrain on “fact-finding” missions of questionable merit. A March 2011 survey by the Guardian found British parliamentarians took 18 trips paid for by the Bahrain Government, at a total cost of £42,700. (69)
Research by John Horne, Director of Community, EA Worldview found that in March 2009, The Gulf Policy Forum organised a trip to Bahrain sponsored by the Government. The delegation included Lord Lothain (Michael Ancram), Alan Duncan MP (then Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Minister) and Keith Simpson MP (then Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister). Two months later, opposition leader David Cameron registered gifts from King Hamad of cuff-links and a fountain pen.(70)
In August, Liam Fox MP took a three-day trip, also paid for by the Bahrain Government, “to meet with the King of Bahrain as Shadow Secretary of State for Defence”. (71)
In October 2010, Gardant Communications organised a trip to Bahrain, paid for by the Government, for three members of the UK-Bahrain All-Party Parliamentary Committee: Chair Conor Burns MP, Priti Patel MP and Thomas Docherty MP.(72) This list is by no means comprehensive. [1]


  • Former British Army chief of defence staff Lord David Richards has acted as a consultant since he retired in 2013.

Lobbying firms retained

  • Bell Pottinger (London office under administration as of September 2017, BPME however has continued to operate)
  1. House of Commons Political and Constitutional ReformCommittee, Introducing a statutory register of lobbyists, Written Evidence, Ordered to be published 2 and 23 February, 1 and 8 March, 19 April and 26 April and 10 May 2012