Senior public affairs figures launch campaign for 'independent' APPC
Emily Wallace and Graham McMillan are both involved in the nascent campaign.
A new campaign against the proposed APPC-PRCA merger has got off the ground with 20 senior lobbyists on board.
A supporters’ statement produced by the campaign sets out why "the best route forward for the APPC is as an independent self-regulatory body". It will now be sent onto other APPC members in a bid to drive up opposition to the controversial merger plan before it is voted on at an extraordinary general meeting on 8 October.
The ‘campaign for an independent APPC’ is being driven by former GK Strategy director and APPC deputy chair Emily Wallace, along with six current members of the management committee who did not vote for the merger when it was considered by the committee in July.
Westminster Strategy founder and former two-time APPC chairman Michael Burrell is known to be playing a leading role in the campaign, along with Railway Industry Association CEO and former APPC deputy chair Darren Caplan.
Teneo Blue Rubicon public affairs principal Graham McMillan is also said to have taken an active role, along with former APPC chair Robbie McDuff, who recently railed against the plans in an explosive email.
Other leading lobbyists backing the campaign include FTI Consulting head of public affairs Alex Deane, Cavendish Communications founder Alex Challoner and Luther Pendragon managing partner Simon Whale.
“The APPC is strong, its revenues secure, its membership and Management Committee has become ever younger and more diverse; and it promotes and protects the ‘gold standard’ Code of Conduct, lobbying register, training, and complaints procedure. It really is difficult to see what problem the PRCA takeover is trying to solve,” says the statement being sent around the APPC.
It adds: “The APPC has successfully embedded a culture of ethical practice amongst its members in the UK over 25 years, and an Independent APPC is the best way to ensure this continues. So we support the campaign for an Independent APPC and look forward to implementing plans after the vote to deliver an even better APPC for members, large and small and from all countries and regions of the UK.”
The new campaign comes after a ‘Memorandum of Understanding Between the APPC and the PRCA’ was published earlier this month setting out the merger plans. It stated that there would be one code of conduct based on the APPC’s wording and claimed that a merger would create "a new, stronger, united voice for the industry".
THE FULL LIST OF EARLY SUPPORTERS
Emily Wallace, former GK Strategy director & former APPC deputy chair
Michael Burrell, founder, Westminster Strategy & former APPC chair
Robbie MacDuff, director, BECG & former APPC chair
Helen Johnson, founder, HJC former APPC chair
Darren Caplan, chief executive, Railway Industry Association & former APPC deputy chair
Nick Lansman, founder, Political Intelligence & former APPC deputy chair
Havard Hughes, MD, Barndoor Strategy & former APPC deputy chair
Graham McMillan, principal, Teneo Blue Rubicon
Alex Challoner, founder, Cavendish Communications
Tom Curtin, CEO and founder, Curtin & Co,
Alex Deane, head of public affairs,
Dan Hamilton, director, FTI Consulting
Simon Whale, MD, Luther Pendragon
David Beamer, founder and MD, Brevia Consulting
Lucy Holbrook, partner, Pagefield
Emma Petela, MD, GK Strategy
Matt Palutikof, account director, GK Strategy,
David McCullough, MD, Riverside Communcations
Rosemary Grogan, founder, Rosemary Grogan Public Affairs
Burhan Al-Gailani, head of public affairs, Brands2Life
Karen Freel, director, Perspectiva Consultants
David Button, senior account director, BECG
Phil Hall, head of public affairs & public policy, Association of Accounting Technicians