Name change for advisers?

A longstanding aide to John Reid has said special advisers should be given a new name because lobbyists misunderstand their role.

Steve Bates made the call in a speech to the CIPR's government affairs group last week.

He said: 'Special advisers should be renamed political advisers. Many people who approach government don't understand their role.'

Speaking later, Bates told PRWeek: 'Lobbyists can sometimes have an unrealistic understanding of what special advisers can or should do.'

Bates was a special adviser to Reid during his spells as home secretary, health secretary and defence secretary. He is now director of government affairs at biotech firm Genzyme.

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