FRONT PAGE: Granatt 'fury' at being misled over Speaker expenses

PRWeek columnist Mike Granatt has revealed his 'fury' after quitting his role as spokesman for Commons Speaker Michael Martin earlier this week.

Parliament: 'Commons is mired in controversy'
Parliament: 'Commons is mired in controversy'

Granatt said he was ‘furious' when he realised he had been misled over the Speaker's allowances. He resigned after inadvertently misleading journalists over exp­enses claimed by Martin's wife.

He had said £4,280 spent by Martin's wife since 2004 was for trips with an official because she had been buying food for government functions. But Granatt had to change the story to say that she had been accompanied by her housekeeper, not a Commons official.

‘There is a mixture of feelings,' said the Luther Pendragon partner. ‘Fury at having been put in that position to be misleading people, but also intense sadness. The House of Commons has been mired in controversy.'

Granatt blamed both Parliament and the press for ‘disproportionate' stories.

The PR industry has rallied to support his move.

‘He's absolutely right to think about his reputation,' said Bell Pottinger director and former Downing Street comms director David Hill. ‘It has put the profile of the PR world in a positive light.'
CIPR director general Colin Farrington said Granatt ‘should be praised'.

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