Andrew Gifford is rapidly building a reputation as the Don Corleone
of the lobbying business - the man has fingers in more pies than Mr
Apart from GJW, Gifford can also lay claim to directorships for seven
other commercial operations, ranging from Heritage Oil and Gas to
publishing company Fourth Estate, whose latest book - Sleaze: The
Corruption of Parliament - casts a rather unflattering light on the
activities of Gifford’s old lobbying rival Ian Greer.
Now I can reveal Gifford’s hand behind another Westminster development
of no less importance.
I am referring, of course, to Politicos, the new coffee house run by
former Waterfront Partnership deputy managing director Iain Dale and in
which Gifford is an investor.
The place is stuffed full of political memorabilia and features a 14ft
by 7ft mural of famous politicians of the 20th century which will be
unveiled at the launch bash by star guests Kenneth Baker, Tony Banks and
Matthew Parris. Unaccountably none of them actually feature in it.
Given Dale’s background and Gifford’s involvement, we can assume that
the special needs of lobbyists will have been catered for. Something
along the lines, perhaps, of a back room with dim lighting and those
pens on a chain you get in banks to fill in your cheque?
’Well there is my office,’ says Dale, ’it does have a pretty comfortable
couch.’ Whatever can he mean?