Ex-health minister and former financial regulator chair join GK Strategy

Former Conservative MP and health minister Alistair Burt and ex-Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) chair John Griffith-Jones have joined GK Strategy, the public affairs agency has announced.

(L-R) John Griffith-Jones and Alistair Burt have joined GK Strategy
(L-R) John Griffith-Jones and Alistair Burt have joined GK Strategy

Both men have joined the firm as strategic advisers to its health and financial services clients. They will also join its advisory team.

Burt was an MP for more than 30 years and served as minister of state for care in the Department of Health, under David Cameron.

He also served in ministerial roles at the Department for International Development and, most recently, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where he was under-secretary of state.

Burt joined 20 rebel Conservative MPs to vote against Boris Johnson’s government to prevent a no-deal Brexit last autumn and subsequently lost the whip.

Although the whip was restored to him, Burt chose not to contest his seat at the December election.

Commenting on his appointment, he said: “I’m excited to be joining GK at a crucial time for the health and social care sector. COVID-19 has quickened the pace of reform for the care sector and crucial NHS legislation is expected in the New Year.”

Griffith-Jones was the inaugural Chair of the FCA, from 2013 to 2018.

Before that he worked for international professional services business KPMG for nearly 40 years, rising to the position of UK chairman and senior partner at the company.

He said: “COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the economy, which will be felt by the financial services sector acutely. The sector also faces many other challenges, from a shake-up of audit regulation to changes caused by the digital revolution and a greater use of big data.”

The agency works with clients in the public, private and third sector, the largest of which are in health and care.

One of its senior directors, Emma Petela was, until recently, co-chair of the PRCA’s Public Affairs Board.

Robin Grainger, chief executive of GK Strategy, said: “Organisations across the health and care sector and financial services sector are increasingly seeking support on strategic communications and policy research. Alistair and John bring decades of experience from government and the private sector to advise our clients on policy engagement and political risk.”

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