Whitehouse bid for APPC committee election fails

The Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) has stopped one of its most outspoken members from joining its management committee.

Whitehouse: 'forthright comments'
Whitehouse: 'forthright comments'

Chris Whitehouse, MD of The Whitehouse Consultancy, failed to get enough votes at this week's AGM.

Also unsuccessful in his attempt to be elected onto the committee was Cicero Consulting director Iain Anderson.

The AGM saw Precise Public Affairs director Robbie MacDuff voted in as the new chair and three new lobbyists - Lexington Communications director Gidon Freeman, Open Road director Martin LeJeune and Brands2Life public affairs director Darren Caplan - elected to the management committee.

After the votes were counted, most APPC members were privately focusing on the non-election of Whitehouse, who has previously urged the APPC to spend less time persuading non-member agencies to join up and more time speaking up for the industry as a whole.

'This result shows just how few people buy in to his agenda,' said one senior APPC member.

Last year, Whitehouse blasted the APPC over a letter that then chair Gill Morris sent out to all MPs stating that organisations should only employ lobbyists who are members of the APPC (PRWeek, 22 June 2007).

In a letter to Morris, Whitehouse wrote: 'I see the position you have taken as being contrary to the long-term interests of the association. It turns an ethical debate into a thinly disguised attempt to secure commercial advantage for member companies.'

This week, Whitehouse said: 'I have no doubt my forthright comments in defence of ethical principles... will have been a factor.'

Meanwhile, former chairs Michael Burrell, Warwick Smith and Gill Morris now get an automatic and ex-officio seat on the committee.

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