Policy Research Associates

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A consultancy set up in 1985 by Julian Lewis, Leigh Kerpel and Tony Kerpel. One of its projects was the Media Monitoring Unit.

He runs a political pressure group called Policy Research Associates which pops up now and again in debates on such matters as council corruption, trade union law and CND. Lord Chalfont is a patron as is Norris McWhirter, who founded the Freedom Association, and Edward Leigh, MP (Con., Gainsborough and Horncastle).

The increasing activity of the PRA and the decision to form the monitoring unit is indicative of a more aggressive approach in Right-of-centre circles to getting across its message.

Lewis says there has been growing concern that, whereas newspaper subscribers can choose their reading, the TV-viewing millions are limited to only four stations and two controlling bodies whose adequacy is questioned.

To get the unit off the ground he approached Sir Peter Tennant, 75, a senior City businessman and adviser to the CBI. Tennant in turn drew together a nucleus of sympathisers, mostly from the City, who put up the £25,000-or-so to hire a director, buy a video recorder and publish the report. [1]