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
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
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?