Chemical industry loses lobbying stalwart Gardner

John Gardner, the long-serving top lobbyist for the UK’s chemical trade, has quit the Chemical Industries Association. His destination is unknown.

As director of comms, Gardner has spearheaded the body's PA and media relations since 2002, having joined in 1997 as head of its political office.

He is a former director at PA agency GPC Market Access, an ex-adviser to the Ministry of Defence and one-time political correspondence secretary to then PM Margaret Thatcher.

The association's director-general Judith Hackitt stepped down in April, leaving director of business and the environment Steve Elliott as acting D-G.  The group is immersed in the Government's energy review as champion of the business sector that uses the most energy.

Responding to last week's Budget – and in particular the decision to increase the climate change levy from 2007 – Elliott said: 'UK chemical companies' ability to compete in international markets continues to be hampered by the horrific, tangled web of bureaucratic and inconsistent regulation.'

It is not known whether a replacement for Gardner will be sought. He was unavailable for comment, while the association did not return calls.

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