Comms team 'very successful' in broadening debate

Senior communicator defends quality of team's lobbying and communications strategy.

On leave: BAA's Tom Kelly
On leave: BAA's Tom Kelly

One of BAA's top communicators has defended its public affairs work, insisting that BAA lobbyists have been talking regularly to 'the Government, regulators and the business community'.

Deputy director of corporate and public affairs Malcolm Robertson said his team had been 'very successful' and added that people should not judge its success on the outcome of the Competition Commission report alone.

'We focused on broadening the debate to look at issues of runway capacity and regulation,' he said.

Robertson has been in charge of the 30-strong comms unit during the busy summer period, while group director of corporate affairs Tom Kelly has been out of the office for a month on annual leave. Robertson defended the situation, saying: 'We had a plan in place.'

Last week, the team was also dealing with an announcement about the completion of BAA's refinancing, while this week has seen it dealing with Team GB's return to the UK.

There have also been high-profile stories around Gary Glitter and Jade Goody passing through Heathrow airport.

'I said to the team that it's been one of the most difficult and challenging weeks for a while,' admitted Robertson.

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