Wilson bid hides PR credentials

Phil Wilson was this week poised to become the new MP for one of the best-known seats in the country – but only after going to some lengths to play down his background as a PR man.

Wilson: ‘Labour’s local man’
Wilson: ‘Labour’s local man’

As PRWeek went to press, Wilson was viewed as a shoo-in to take over from Tony Blair as the new MP for Sedgefield, after pos­itioning himself as ‘Labour’s local man’ for his bid. His campaign website also notes that ‘his father used to work down Fishburn colliery’ and mentions that Wilson’s first job as a shop assistant.

But it does not go into detail on his more recent role as a lobbyist for gambling and casino giant Gala Coral, nor his current role as a director at Covent Garden-based public affairs consultancy Fellows’ Associates.

Dave Hennigan, campaign manager for Lib Dem candidate Greg Stone, clai­med Wilson was ‘a London-based spin doctor’ with a ‘big office in London’.

But Wilson’s press officer Roger Baker insisted that the Labour candidate was a life-long Sedgefield resident and denied that he had deliberately downplayed his career for the sake of gaining votes. However, he said that the Labour candidate ‘certainly wouldn’t say he works in PR’.

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