INTERNATIONAL: TV show axed over lobbying conflict of interest

DUBLIN: A TV current affairs programme hosted by two former spin doctors turned lobbyists, is to be axed after controversy over their failure to disclose a conflict of interest.

DUBLIN: A TV current affairs programme hosted by two former spin

doctors turned lobbyists, is to be axed after controversy over their

failure to disclose a conflict of interest.



Later with Finlay and Dunlop featured Fergus Finlay, a former spin

doctor for the Irish Labour Party who heads the lobbying arm of Dublin

PR firm Wilson Hartnell, and Frank Dunlop, a former government press

secretary with his own Dublin agency.



Dunlop was dropped when it was revealed he was being called as a witness

by a tribunal investigating allegations of planning corruption, an issue

debated on the programme. Then it was revealed that Finlay had

guaranteed a pounds 22,000 loan for the Irish Labour Partywhich was then

written off.



The affair has led to renewed calls for a register of lobbyists and

clients.



Earlier this year, Paddy Duffy, political adviser to Taoiseach Bertie

Ahern, had become a director of PR firm Dillon Consultants while still

on the government payroll (PR Week, 25 June ).



But the government voted down a Labour bill to register lobbyists and

has failed to introduce its own legislation.



Edited by David McCormack.



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