As PRWeek went to press, Wilson was viewed as a shoo-in to take over from Tony Blair as the new MP for Sedgefield, after positioning himself as ‘Labour’s local man’ for his bid. His campaign website also notes that ‘his father used to work down Fishburn colliery’ and mentions that Wilson’s first job as a shop assistant.
But it does not go into detail on his more recent role as a lobbyist for gambling and casino giant Gala Coral, nor his current role as a director at Covent Garden-based public affairs consultancy Fellows’ Associates.
Dave Hennigan, campaign manager for Lib Dem candidate Greg Stone, claimed Wilson was ‘a London-based spin doctor’ with a ‘big office in London’.
But Wilson’s press officer Roger Baker insisted that the Labour candidate was a life-long Sedgefield resident and denied that he had deliberately downplayed his career for the sake of gaining votes. However, he said that the Labour candidate ‘certainly wouldn’t say he works in PR’.