The CWU has called in crisis specialists Media House International as it seeks to block the Government’s privatisation plans.
Meanwhile, Royal Mail’s pension trustees have brought in financial agency Hogarth to hone their media message.
The trust recently hit headlines after sending a letter to Business Secretary Peter Mandelson, warning of ‘devastating consequences’ if ministers did not press ahead with part-privatisation.
Media House is primarily providing strategic and political advice surrounding a bid from Dutch postal firm TNT for a stake in Royal Mail. Former Sun journalist and Media House chairman Jack Irvine is heading the account, working with a team of freelancers with expertise in fraud, tax and security.
Irvine is believed to be behind The Sunday Telegraph story last weekend revealing TNT had been forced to pay back tens of millions of pounds in unpaid tax. Irvine declined to comment on the TNT story, but said the agency would provide advice on strategies to defeat any other future bids.
‘This project combines intelligence gathering, politics and high-level media relations,’ said Irvine. ‘The recession is causing many such cases to be put our way. I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up working for other major unions and bodies opposed to ill-thought-out government legislation.’
Hogarth declined to confirm or deny its appointment, but has a history of working with pension trusts in high- profile situations, having represented Northern Rock’s pensions trustees last year.