Lobbying and PR firms are preparing for a flood of new recruits if
Labour wins the general election.
Many are predicting a massive shake-out with an estimated 100
researchers, press officers and policy advisers employed by Labour’s
front bench team chasing 43 jobs as ministerial special advisers or
members of the No 10 Policy Unit.
In addition there are more than 200 workers at Labour’s Millbank
campaign HQ, including a 15-strong research department.
’We’ve not bothered trying to recruit any Labour people for a while
because we know that after the election we’ll have our pick,’ a director
from one of the biggest lobbying firms told PR Week.
At present most ministries have just one or two special advisers with
the exception of the Department of the Environment (four) and the
Treasury (three). Political advisers are chosen by the ministers but
paid by the civil service. Their role can vary from that of glorified
bag-carrier to policy adviser, depending on the minister.
However, many lobbyists expect their numbers to increase substantially
under Labour as ministers look for ways of strengthening their hand
against a civil service grown up under successive Conservative
The introduction of continental-style cabinets of special advisers to
senior ministers or mini-policy units is just one suggestion put forward