DIARY: Confusing food facts turn Hillier into PR’s piggy in the middle

Last week was probably one Andrew Hillier, head of press and public relations at Westminster City Council, would rather forget.

Last week was probably one Andrew Hillier, head of press and public

relations at Westminster City Council, would rather forget.



First it was the Barratt report which found the Tory-controlled

authority knowingly placed 100 homeless families in asbestos-riddled

tower blocks. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, there was a little problem

of BSE in beef.



For, as well as running Westminster’s press office, Hillier is also

senior account director at John Kendall Associates where he acts for the

Food and Drink Federation - ‘leading voice of the food and drink

manufacturing industry’.



No problem there, you might say. But check out this release issued by

the FDF shortly after Health Secretary Stephen Dorrell told Parliament

there was no need for further action on BSE. After expressing its

approval for the ‘unequivocal assurance that children, pregnant women

and other specific groups are not more likely to be at risk from eating

British beef’ the FDF also welcomes ‘today’s reassurances that there is

no scientific reason for removing beef or beef products from school

menus’.



Well it may have been good enough for the FDF but Westminster City

Council was less than convinced which would explain why, on Wednesday,

Hillier was busy putting out a press release saying that the council had

banned beef from school meals in the borough.



Still, whoever said being in PR was easy?



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