Charity chief in lobbying debate

Lobbyists should deal with politicians and civil servants simultaneously to have a good chance of influencing the policy agenda, it was claimed this week.

Save the Children chief executive Jasmine Whitbread was taking part in a deb­ate about lobbying on the BBC Radio 4 show The Bottom Line. She revealed she had met with a government minister and exchanged emails with a permanent secretary in the previous week.

She said: ‘You need a mixture. There is a danger if you only deal at the political level that you’ll get the big ann­ouncements and then no follow-through, and we’ve seen that ourselves. But if you only deal with civil servants it can take a long time.’

Barratt Homes chief exec­utive Mark Clare and former Millennium Dome chief exec­utive PY Gerbeau also took part in the debate.

Clare said his industry often relied on trade bodies to lobby government ‘because you’re getting that combined voice, which is much more powerful’.

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