EDITORIAL: 'Missed opportunity' on special advisers

The problem of trust in public institutions was brought into focus again this week when Sir Nigel Wicks, the chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, criticised the Prime Minister for failing to curb the power of special advisers. Wicks described Tony Blair's failure to legislate against special advisers as 'a seriously missed opportunity'.

He is, of course, correct. The dithering and delay that have characterised the Government's response to this important issue are shameful. As PRWeek, the IPR and every serious commentator to have addressed the matter has concluded, the only way to eliminate sharp practice in government PR is to put on a statutory footing that which is acceptable and that which is not.

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