FLACK: Big bucks ..

Crafty old (Labour) Lord George Foulkes used parliamentary questions this week to discover the Scottish National Party was spending 40 per cent less on comms officers than its Labour predecessors.

He then argued that they can't be doing as good a job as his lot, who apparently forked out for the very best. SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn said it merely proved efficiency. A case of two spinners spinning spend on spin? ...

Media Trust head of communications Helen Beckett could probably do with some of the money the SNP claims to be saving. The poor charity comms staffer has been hit with a £6,000 Thames Water bill for her one-bedroom flat. The water firm's gaffe appeared in London freesheet The Metro. Proof once more that it's best not to annoy PROs. They might just have contacts ...

Fleishman-Hillard public affairs chief Kevin Bell held his annual drinks party for his political chums last week. The Bollinger-fuelled affair was attended by none other than flavour-of-the-month Tory David Davis and Henry Conway, son of a shamed MP and master of his own PR.

The Harrow-educated 25-year-old received more than £32,000 in parliamentary allowances and bonuses from his Tory MP father between July 2001 and October 2004 while an undergraduate. Maybe he could lend Helen Beckett some cash?

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