LONDON: The president of the UK's Institute of Public Relations has
called for a code of conduct to be enforced among the political PR
profession after it was revealed that a top-level conservative (Tory)
party advisor kept a video diary during the recent general election
Amanda Platell quit her job as head of news and media for the Tory party
after admitting that she had recorded her observations for posterity
during a tough election year. The conservatives, at that time led by
William Hague, lost the election by a landslide on June 7.
The video was broadcast on the UK's Channel 4 as the Tories geared up to
choose a party leader to succeed Hague, and damaging revelations about
front-runner Michael Portillo have led to his defeat.
"This case shows the urgent need for a code of practice for
communicators working alongside and on behalf of politicians," said IPR
president Ian Wright in a statement.
Wright said that the Government Information and Communication Service, a
network of specialist press officers working with different government
departments, already has a code of conduct in place for politicians in
office. "There is no reason why this code should not be extended to
political advisors in government and senior advisors in the main
opposition parties," Wright continued.
Wright went on to say that the Platell incident had damaged the
reputation of the PR industry in the UK. "Transparency and honesty are
Platell was appointed in April 1999, and was formerly the editor of the