The week in lobbying

Lexington Communications has boosted its Conservative credentials with the hire of Alex Crowley, political adviser to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson. At City Hall, Crowley was reported to be on a salary of £75,000. He joins this week as an associate director. Lexington is fighting to hold on to a key account with FTSE 100 insurance giant Prudential.

HSBC has shortlisted four agencies for its public affairs account, according to sources close to the process. The bank is looking to replace Burson-Marsteller, which has held the business for less than a year. Final pitches will end next week with a decision expected in November.

The Association of Play Industries has taken on College Public Policy to lead on a political engagement programme around the Government's £235m National Play Strategy. The API is one of the key deliverers of the strategy, which is overseeing the development of more than 3,500 children's play areas before March 2011.

BAA head of group public affairs Scott Colvin has left the airport operator to join Finsbury. Colvin joins the City consultancy this week as associate partner.

The Association of British Travel Agents has hired Edelman account director Luke Pollard as head of public affairs.

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