Former Tory aide takes up Lattice Group PA position

Michael Portillo's former chief of staff David Maudsley has joined

utility giant and British Gas successor company the Lattice Group.

He takes up a newly created role of public policy and issues management

adviser, reporting to executive director for corporate communications

John Wybrew.

The role has been created as Lattice, which includes Transco and Lattice

Properties, steps up its public affairs work.

It is currently involved in a spat with energy regulator Ofgem, which,

in its final proposals for the five years from April 2002, wants to put

in place price controls that could reduce annual household bills by


Today is the deadline for Lattice to either agree or appeal to the

Competition Commission over the proposals.

Meanwhile the Health and Safety Executive, reacting to a series of fatal

accidents involving iron gas pipes, wants to see Lattice increase its

replacement rate to 3,500km a year over the next five years.

Maudsley, who works alongside Christine Martman, group head of

government and parliamentary affairs, said: 'I'd say 60 per cent of my

time will be handling issues management and the rest on public policy

work. This will be on a UK and European level.'

Lattice will not immediately replace head of public affairs Mish Tullar,

who left this month. The utility group is looking at the role as part of

a wider management review.

Tullar has joined support service company Amey Group as group

communications director, succeeding Tom Macquillan.

Maudsley was appointed as then shadow chancellor Portillo's chief of

staff in February 2000, after spending two years as head of economic

research at Conservative Central Office.

During the General Election in June he was part of CCO's Treasury


He remained as Portillo's chief of staff during his leadership bid and

up until Iain Duncan Smith was elected as party leader last month.

Last year Portillo's aides were condemned by Anne Widdecombe for

'backbiting', a reference to alleged negative briefings.

Other political PROs have emerged in different jobs in the aftermath of

the General Election.

Will Cavendish has left the Labour Party's Millbank headquarters for a

role as special adviser to education secretary Estelle Morris.

Also joining the Government from Millbank is Nicola Murphy, who has

joined HM Treasury as special adviser to chief secretary to the Treasury

Andrew Smith. She replaces Paul Andrew.

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