The Hamilton/Greer case has put the lobbying industry firmly under the
spotlight. Now I have news of another attempt to lift the lid on its
Journalist Michael Cockerell and producer Alison Cahn, the team behind
the BBC’s fly-on-the-wall programme on the whip’s office - Westminster’s
Secret Service - are together again and working on a programme on
lobbying for transmission in January or February. Jenny Jeger, the J in
GJW, who left the firm last year, is acting as a consultant.
Cockerell, you may remember, was the reporter on the 1986 Panorama
programme Maggie’s Militant Tendency, which suggested (falsely) that
Neil Hamilton had links with extreme racist groups.
Hamilton sued successfully and the BBC apologised.
Sources at the BBC insist the programme was begun long before the
current media storm about Hamilton’s links with Ian Greer Associates.
‘It’s a serious industry, which has grown immensely and has become part
of the policy making process...something that has been obscured by all
the sensationalist reporting,’ says the source.
Phew, the lobbying industry can rest easy then.