Richard Olszewski

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Richard Olszewski is a former special adviser to the Labour MP John Reid[1] and now runs a lobbying firm, The Altitude Consultancy.


Olszewski was a Labour councillor in the Regent's Park ward, Camden Council from 1994 to 2002.[2] He was twice defeated in his attempts to become an MP: he failed to be selected as Labour's candidate for Paisley South in 1997[3], and for Ayrshire North in 2005.[4]

Olszewski is a former lobbyist for transport specialists Citigate Public Affairs, Westminster Communications who were responsible for advising John Reid at the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (2001).[5] He then moved to an advisory role, working for Reid at the Scottish Office, the Northern Ireland Office (2002) and the Department of Health (2004).[6] Earlier in his career Olszewski had also worked for Brian Wilson MP as a research assistant (1990 and 1993). After ceasing his work with Reid in 2005 he became a director of Jefferson. [7]

He is married to Dee Donnelly, a manager at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.[8]


Olszewski now runs the lobbying firm The Altitude Consultancy with co-directors Stephen Hardwick and Tony Sophoclides.[9] His official biography[10] reads as follows:

Richard Olszewski is a government affairs and political specialist, with two decades’ experience in Westminster, Whitehall and London government. He was a special adviser to a former Cabinet Minister across six Cabinet positions (Transport, Health, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Leader of the House, Labour Party Chairman), dealing with the strategic aspects of policy development and public services reform, as well as the day-to-day political and presentational impacts of government decision-making. In Opposition he worked for a prominent Shadow Minister on policy, legislation and media.
He has also been a consultancy director, with experience including financial services, property development, retail, transport, energy, environment and health. He worked in-house for the Consumers' Association and the Royal College of Nursing and served for eight years as an elected member of the London Borough of Camden, where he was vice-chair of finance and education.

In a 2010 interview for Public Affairs News, Olszewski was asked "If you were to bump into Eric Pickles at [the Tory conference], what would you say?" He answered:

I would ask him if he has any objection to government agencies or local authorities communicating with the outside world; and, if he doesn’t, what is the difference between them hiring an electrical contractor to fix their wiring and using a public affairs agency to help them get their message out, especially if it’s cheaper than doing it all in-house.[11]

Altitude's Clients

Listed on Altitude's website as of May 2012:


BAA | Complan Foods | Global Infrastructure Partners | Hines | Octavian Advisors | UNI Global Union (Switzerland) [12]

Contact, Resources, Notes


Address: The Altitude Consultancy
107-111 Fleet Street
Email: richard.olszewski AT


  1. Info-Dynamics Research, "Where are they now? The 1997/1998 Special Advisers to the Labour Government", GMB: April 2006 Briefing, p13, accessed 20.09.10
  2. Richard Olszewski, "Letters", Camden New Journal, 17.05.07, accessed 21.09.10
  3. Peter MacMahon, "Cabinet aides in fight for Paisley selection", The Scotsman, 02.10.97
  4. Ron MacKenna, "MacKenna: Reid's Man Up For Ayr", The Mirror, 19.11.04
  5. Martin McElwee, "The Great and the Good? The rise of the new class", Centre for Policy Studies, p61, accessed 15.09.10
  6. Info-Dynamics Research, "Where are they now? The 1997/1998 Special Advisers to the Labour Government", GMB: April 2006 Briefing, p13, accessed 20.09.10
  7. Richard Olszewski Owner, Altitude, LinkedIn, accessed 19 May 2012
  8. Ian Darby, "Diary: The honeymoon’s not over for Camden councillor", PR Week UK, 15.05.98, accessed 20.09.10
  9. "Who We Are", The Altitude Consultancy, accessed 20.09.10
  10. "Richard Olszewski", The Altitude Consultancy, accessed 21.09.10
  11. PAN Staff, "PARTY CONFERENCES PREVIEW: Five questions for conference season", Public Affairs News, 06.09.10, accessed 21.09.10
  12. Clients, Altitude website, as of May 2012.