Diary: Gunton proves that age shall not wither his media prowess

This week the Diary salutes ex-Referendum Party chief press officer, and former Tory Central Office head of news, Michael Gunton.

This week the Diary salutes ex-Referendum Party chief press

officer, and former Tory Central Office head of news, Michael

Gunton.



At 70, after 40 years in journalism, let alone stints under Margaret

Thatcher, John Major and James Goldsmith, most of us would be happily

tending our dahlias.



But not Gunton. He has just launched a nationwide media services company

for regional media, the Impress Network, staffed by nine other senior

hacks and PR people - eight of whom are past or present Referendum Party

regional press officers.



The only non-Referendum Party member is Gunton’s wife Judith Patten,

founder of public relations company JPPR.



Gunton, who left the Referendum Party amid rumours of acrimony with

billionaire Goldsmith’s personal PR adviser Patrick Robertson, dismisses

suggestions that he should be taking it easy.



’If you stop work you get old,’ he tells me. ’There is nothing we cannot

do in regional media promotion. We have the combined talent to do almost

anything.’



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