Public Affairs: The Week in Lobbying

Fleishman-Hillard is to close its five-strong Edinburgh office, run by director Elaine McKean, following declining turnover from public affairs.

In a statement, F-H regional president John Saunders said: 'Following a review of our operations in Edinburgh we have signalled our intention to close that office. In future, all our business in Great Britain will be led from our office in London.' F-H was one of the first agencies to launch a public affairs operation in Edinburgh, in 1996.

British American Tobacco is facing questions over whether it was involved in covert lobbying against Government proposals to ban cigarettes being displayed for sale in shops. It is under pressure to disclose whether it secretly funded a campaign by the National Federation of Retail Newsagents. Labour MP Kevin Barron has written to BAT asking if it provided 'any funding or support ... of lobbying and campaigning activities by third parties'. BAT has denied paying for NFRN's lobbying campaign.

Connect Communications commercial director Andy Carr has quit the agency to head up comms for UPP (University Partnerships Programme). UPP funds, builds and operates student accommodation and other campus infrastructure projects.

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