Labour pulls strings as Co-op fends off Lanica

The Co-op’s campaign to fend off a pounds 1.5 billion bid from Andrew Regan’s Lanica Trust has been secretly aided by a pro-Labour PR agency.

The Co-op’s campaign to fend off a pounds 1.5 billion bid from

Andrew Regan’s Lanica Trust has been secretly aided by a pro-Labour PR

agency.



Luther Pendragon has been briefing journalists against the deal

apparently at the behest of the Labour Party, which wants to keep its

involvement at ’arm’s length’.



A source at the agency confirmed it had been helping the Co-op ’on the

quiet’. Chief executive George Pitcher has also used his column in trade

magazine Marketing Week to suggest a Labour government could scupper the

deal. The source confirmed the agency’s action was unpaid but ’clearly

at the behest of a potential Labour Government’ which sees the Co-op as

a prime example of the stakeholding philosophy championed by Labour

leader Tony Blair.



Guernsey-incorporated investment trust Lanica has set up a special

investment vehicle, Galileo, to mount the bid and brought in PR advisers

in the shape of former UBS PR man Damian McCrystal and David Bick of

Financial Dynamics.



PR advisers to the Co-op are Malcolm Hurlston Corporate Consultancy and

Keith McDowall Associates.



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