Public affairs heavyweight Jon McLeod says party conference 'shows' must end

Public affairs heavyweight Jon McLeod has called for an end to party conference 'scrums', stating that the money they cost could be spent 'on something more productive'.

Jon McLeod: 'End party conference scrum'
Jon McLeod: 'End party conference scrum'
Writing exclusively for PRWeek, McLeod, Weber Shandwick’s public affairs chairman, reveals the conferences cost ‘about £5,000 per person’ and the whole ‘show’ is put on to impress the press.

The outspoken piece comes as the Liberal Democrats’ autumn conference ends today with a keynote speech by its leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

McLeod argues that motions at the Liberal Democrats’ conference are ‘being ignored’ by the party’s ministers in Government. Instead he describes all three conferences as ‘a seething horde of humanity’ where lobbyists, delegates and media ‘swarm over the political class for four or five Pinot Grigio-soaked days and nights’.

He adds: ‘It’s got to stop.

‘In these hard economic times, the money should be spent on something more productive – investment in training and skills for a start.

‘MPs should be in their constituencies addressing the real-world concerns of their electorates.’

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