THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Has Ian Greer been unfairly treated?

The Downey report found no evidence of Ian Greer paying MPs to ask questions in the House

The Downey report found no evidence of Ian Greer paying MPs to ask

questions in the House

Omer-li Cohen

Omer-li Cohen PR

’What we are witnessing now are the last vestiges of the corrupt old

Tory school, glorified in the heady days of the Reagan and Thatcher era

Ian Greer may have the letter of the law on his side, but the spirit

does not appear to be there. We pride ourselves on our evolved system of

democracy, but a case like this serves as a reminder that we should not

get too smug.’

Chris McLaughlin

Philip Morris

’His case is a reflection of the wider malaises of having one party rule

for 18 years - which Lord Hailsham once called electoral


I don’t know what Ian Greer did but you would have expected MPs to have

stronger judgment in declarations of interest. It highlights the growing

rift between the Victorian concept of the part-time MP and the

professional politician. If we want full-time politicians they should be

paid accordingly and not be allowed to accept outside consultancy.’

Colin Byrne

Shandwick Public Affairs

’Unfair or not, Ian Greer’s activities, and the publicity surrounding

them did our industry no favours. Sadly for Greer he is now part of the

past. The public affairs industry has already moved on.’

Christopher Broadbent

The Ansdell Group

’He’s certainly suffered. The irony is that the MPs, who have been

deemed guilty haven’t actually been punished whereas Greer was punished

by the loss of his business even before the trial. The wider issue of

course, is that public affairs has been badly tainted.’

Judy Larkin

Regester Larkin

’He does seem to have suffered in that he has been made a scapegoat.

The practices which were called into question were not specific to his

agency alone. It was unfortunate for him that the conclusion of the cash

for questions affair came at a time when Tory ’sleaze’ was already

causing concern and has led to pressure to reform the industry. It is

certainly no bad thing that we are all having to be more accountable but

it does seem unfair that Greer’s experience led to this scrutiny.’

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