Labour MP goes nuclear
Jamie Reed to take up new job at Sellafield following the departure of his lobbyist pal from the firm.
Labour MP Jamie Reed is to take up a senior public affairs post in the nuclear industry.
Reed is quitting parliament to become head of development and community relations at Sellafield.
He applied for the job and was “an outstanding candidate”, Sellafield’s chief executive, Paul Foster, said.
It follows the recent departure of stakeholder relations director Rory O’Neill, a former lobbyist for various agencies in London. O’Neill and Reed are good friends, having worked together before Reed became an MP.
The MP will stand down at the end of January, triggering a by-election in a seat Labour retained in 2015 with a 2,564 majority.
In a letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, he stated: “This is an important role that will build on my work in Parliament and my previous time at Sellafield and allow me to mcontinue with to help the community and industry of West Cumbria to meet the challenges of the future,”
Reed told The Guardian that his new job paid more than his £74,962 MP’s salary “but not by much” – and said money was not a motivator in his decision to quit.
He also said he would not be a “propagandist” for the nuclear industry, but the new job represented an opportunity to help the local economy by ensuring that the impact of the billions of pounds of public money spent at Sellafield annually would be “better felt in this part of the world”.
Reed worked as a press officer for BNFL (British Nuclear Fuels Limited) before winning his Copeland seat in 2005.
O’ Neil previously worked for BNFL as public affairs manager, before going on to hold senior posts at lobbying firms Sovereign Strategy, Gardant Communications and PSA Communications. He joined Sellafield as stakeholder relations director in 2012 and left in the summer of 2016.