APPC has mock session ahead of committee probe

The Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) has been preparing for its likely grilling by the Public Administration Select Committee by staging a mock committee session.

Members of the APPC convened on Monday night to explore possible lines of attack. It is understood that members fired a range of questions at APPC chair Gill Morris and former chair Michael Burrell.

One APPC source said: ‘Having trained hundreds of clients between us, we wanted to be sure we are prepared to handle whatever they throw at us.’ However, Burrell insisted Monday’s session amounted to no more than ‘a chat’.

It is expected that the ­APPC will be called to give evidence early next year, along with the CIPR and the PRCA.

Bell Pottinger Public Affairs is also likely to be called to appear in a separate session. Chairman ­Peter ­Bingle is believed to have been rehearsing lines with colleagues. But Bingle played this down.

He said: ‘A balance needs to be found between sufficient training and too much ­training. Rehearsing now, before Christmas, is a little premature.’

But Bingle did acknowledge the importance of ‘getting the tone right and understanding what it is they are trying to find out’.

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