Firms prepare for political staff glut

Lobbying and PR firms are preparing for a flood of new recruits if Labour wins the general election.

Lobbying and PR firms are preparing for a flood of new recruits if

Labour wins the general election.



Many are predicting a massive shake-out with an estimated 100

researchers, press officers and policy advisers employed by Labour’s

front bench team chasing 43 jobs as ministerial special advisers or

members of the No 10 Policy Unit.



In addition there are more than 200 workers at Labour’s Millbank

campaign HQ, including a 15-strong research department.



’We’ve not bothered trying to recruit any Labour people for a while

because we know that after the election we’ll have our pick,’ a director

from one of the biggest lobbying firms told PR Week.



At present most ministries have just one or two special advisers with

the exception of the Department of the Environment (four) and the

Treasury (three). Political advisers are chosen by the ministers but

paid by the civil service. Their role can vary from that of glorified

bag-carrier to policy adviser, depending on the minister.



However, many lobbyists expect their numbers to increase substantially

under Labour as ministers look for ways of strengthening their hand

against a civil service grown up under successive Conservative

governments.



The introduction of continental-style cabinets of special advisers to

senior ministers or mini-policy units is just one suggestion put forward

last year.



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