The Week in Lobbying

The Energy Retail Association is putting a major PR and public affairs retainer out to pitch, placing incumbent Four Communications on alert. Newly appointed head of communications and media relations Peter Jenkins said he wanted to 'look again at our external communications'. Four Communications is understood to be repitching for the business, which could be split into two parts this time around.

Portland PR has suffered a major blow to its Tory credentials, losing arguably its best-connected Conservative consultant. As previously reported on prweek.com, James Bethell has quit the agency to become communications director at right-leaning think-tank Policy Exchange.

Blueprint Partners has strengthened its team with the hire of a new senior consultant. Alexandra Reis joins the Brussels-based consultancy next month. She is currently a consultant at the agency Media Consulta.

The New Statesman has invited readers to decide on the subject of the weekly magazine's next big investigation. As PRWeek went to press, nine per cent of voters wanted the magazine to look into lobbying. Most readers voted for the asylum crisis.

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