Paul Hackett

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Paul Hackett is a former part-time special adviser to the Labour Party[1] and now the director of the Smith Institute think tank.


Hackett previously worked for the Financial Times, the Economist Group, the Trades Union Congress (TUC), and the Parliamentary Labour Party under the late John Smith. According to his biography at the Smith Institute (where he is now Director) he has also worked as adviser to the House of Commons Trade & Industry Select Committee, EU, OECD, International Labour Organisation (ILO), UN, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Dun and Bradstreet. From 1997 to 2005, Hackett was a special adviser to the former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and other ministers at the Department of Communities and Local Government.[2]

2005, Lobbying for PricewaterhouseCoopers

After having advised the Government on housing policy for eight years, in 2005 Hackett - working as a Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, who launched a consultation "on whether decent homes was now the wrong policy target" - told industry magazine Inside Housing that the Government should set "a broader target that would also improve the local environment". He said:

We could just pump the money straight into refurbishment to meet the decent homes standard per se but some of it could be more flexible. Authorities have now completed their options appraisals. Let us look at their proposals in light of what is happening in the area and not in splendid isolation.[3]

2008, Appointment to the Smith Institute

Hackett has been Director of the Smith Institutethink tank since 2008.[4] Following the 2010 General Election, he remarked:

The new political elite looks remarkably like the old establishment... It is surprising how many of our MPs were privately educated, went to Oxbridge and worked in the professions, particularly Conservatives and Lib Dems. It seems that our parliament is becoming less representative in terms of education and occupation, and continues to attract similar types of people from a rather narrow professional base.[5]

Contact, Resources, Notes


  1. Info-Dynamics Research, "Where are they now? The 1997/1998 Special Advisers to the Labour Government", GMB: April 2006 Briefing, p24, accessed 24.09.10
  2. "Paul Hackett", The Smith Institute, accessed 25.09.10
  3. Staff writers, "Former Prescott aide calls for target rethink", Inside Housing, 24.11.05, accessed 25.09.10
  4. "Paul Hackett", The Smith Institute, accessed 25.09.10
  5. Graeme Paton, "General Election 2010: MPs more 'socially exclusive'", The Telegraph, 10.05.10, accessed 25.09.10