Stephen Lotinga

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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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Stephen Lotinga is the former director of communications to the Liberal Democrats. He previously worked for the heavyweight lobbying firms Edelman (UK) and Bell Pottinger Public Affairs.

He is now chief executive officer at The Publishers Association. [1]

From lobbyist to government adviser

Lotinga started his career as a research assistant to the Liberal Democrat Tom Brake MP in 2005, before briefly working as a prevention policy support officer with the Youth Justice Board. In May 2006 he went back to the Lib Dems, first as a parliamentary researcher to Don Foster MP, then as a culture media and sport adviser and finally as a senior health adviser.[2]

After the 2010 general election, Lotinga took up a role as a director and then managing director of public affairs and partner of Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, and was later embroiled in a 'cash for access' sting at that agency.

In March 2014 he was appointed managing director of public affairs at Edelman.[2]

However just a month later in April 2014 Lotinga was appointed director of communications to Nick Clegg.[3] There he joined former Bell Pottinger director Jonathan Oates and has since been joined by another former lobbyist, Ruwan Kodikara.[4]

His special adviser role earned Lotinga an annual salary of £105,000. [5]

Lobbying ban waived

Lotinga left his role as director of communications for the Deputy Prime Minister's Office in March 2015.

Following this, in September 2015, he was appointed as director of external affairs and strategy at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. Given the nature of the position, the restriction on lobbying within two years of leaving office was waived so that he could liaise with government over public service complaints. [6]

Lotinga sought the advice of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments in December 2015 about a full time appointment as Chief executive for the Publishers Association. Seeing as he had no prior involvement with the association during Crown service, he was permitted to take up the appointment on the following conditions; that he does no draw upon any privileged information he may have accessed during his service; that he serve a two year lobbying ban from his final day in office; and that he avoid commercial contact with the Cabinet office in this role. Lotinga undertook the role in January 2016. [7]

On the appointment, the president of the association said:

'Stephen’s communications skills, combined with his inside track on the workings of government will make him an effective advocate for our industry. He has a keen interest in our industry but at the same time will bring an outsider’s fresh perspective to our issues.' [1]




See: Fracking lobbying firms


  1. 1.0 1.1 PA announces Stephen Lotinga as new Chief Executive, The Publishers Association, 4 January 2016 accessed 2 December 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Stephen Lotinga LinkedIn profile, accessed 9 January 2015
  3. Daniel Farey-Jones, Nick Clegg hires Edelman's Stephen Lotinga as director of comms, PR Week, 4 April 2014, accessed 9 January 2015
  4. David Singleton Clegg brings in another lobbyist Public Affairs News, 8 January 2015, accessed 9 January 2015
  5. Special advisers in post, 30 November 2014 GOV.UK, accessed 28 April 2015
  6. Gov.UK Business Appointments Applications: Mr Stephen Lotinga 15 September 2015, accessed 23 September 2015
  7. David Lotinga Summary of Business Appointments Applications,, accessed 2 June 2016