Opinion: My best hire

Andrew Caesar-Gordon, Electric Airwaves managing director, on the 'nimble' Kathryn Oakley.

'Imagine closing off the Thames, convincing 100 MPs to drop three-foot plastic ducks off Westminster Bridge and then dealing with accusations of a fix when ministers win the duck race three years on the trot.

'Kathryn shows that government relations work is more than intricate legislation. When I moved to Thames Water, Kathryn arrived with me as PA manager. Privatised utilities and a Labour government do not mix easily, but her easygoing manner and focus on outcomes earned the respect of her colleagues and audiences. She is a joy to work with and an effective operator.

'Now, if only she can persuade Parliament to relocate to her beloved Cornwall ...'

Kathryn Oakley is now head of public affairs at Thames Water.

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