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BAA has behaved with professionalism...

The commentators in your piece about BAA’s handling of the Competition Commission’s report (News, 29 August) show a lack of understanding both of the investigation and of the workings of an effective communications and public affairs team in one of the UK’s busiest businesses.

We handled a difficult week with a professionalism and pride that some who snipe at us could not hope to match: we announced the completion of the largest ever debt re-financing deal of its kind, fuelled an important national debate on runway capacity and airport regulation in the face of the Competition Commission’s provisional report, and worked with BA to manage the substantial media interest in the safe return to Britain of Team GB. We are focused on the big picture of delivering new capacity, regardless of the report.

Malcolm Robertson,
deputy director of corporate communications, BAA


...and lobbying would not have helped

I think people misunderstand the way the Competition Commission works if they feel that our provisional report reflects inadequate lobbying efforts on behalf of BAA. It may sound terribly straight-laced but the commission makes its decisions based on evidence and we can assure you that BAA and its advisers have put their case very strongly to us so far. We’ve listened carefully to them, as well as many other parties, and assessed the evidence.

If that view differs from BAA’s, it doesn’t follow that it didn’t push its case hard enough. We are independent so the suggestion that greater efforts in lobbying the likes of the Transport Select Committee would have altered our view is wide of the mark.

Rory Taylor,
media relations manager, Competition Commission


I’m not plotting with Miliband

I’ve been accused of all manner of stuff in my time. Some of the most damaging allegations – listening to albums by Yes, wearing flared trousers beyond 1977 – are true. But plotting with the Foreign Secretary’s ‘circle of power’ to install Mr Miliband as prime minister? It’s such a good one that, believe me, I’ve been tempted to let it run.

Alas, reverence for truth compels me to hereby place my denial on the record. PRWeek has had a good run of political scoops and David Singleton deserves praise. The Miliband coverage contained lots that is correct with regard to who knows whom. David was also quite right in suggesting that DJ Collins and Jonathan Kestenbaum are top-level talents. The main problems arise from the page 7 diagram (News, 29 August) that, intentionally or not, wrongly implies some sort of cabal – one extending even
to MPs whose first loyalty really is to Gordon Brown.

Michael Prescott,
managing director, corporate and public affairs, Weber Shandwick


Editor’s response

Our Miliband ‘organogram’ prompted a few complaints from MPs and special advisers who objected to being linked to the Foreign Secretary. We should clarify that only 11 individuals are directly linked to David Miliband. Many of those on the outer edges of the diagram are mentioned as having separate relationships with some of these individuals. PRWeek did not mean to imply everyone mentioned was supportive of Miliband.

Click here to see organogram

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