The week in lobbying

BAA has hired Virgin Atlantic's head of government affairs, Nigel Milton, to be director for aviation policy and political relations. Milton will report to Tom Kelly, BAA group director of corporate and public affairs. He replaces Scott Colvin, who has joined Finsbury.

Regional development agencies are looking for a consultancy to carry out extensive political monitoring, as they fight for their future. Tory leader David Cameron has previously suggested he would abolish RDAs. The search is being led by the NorthWest RDA.

The Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party has hired its first head of Westminster comms. The role has been taken by Lucy Gilchrist, who was vice president at FD Public Affairs. She leaves FD within weeks of Nicola Gilchrist (no relation) also quitting the team.

Portland has opened a new office in Nairobi, Kenya, with clients including the Rockefeller Foundation and Syngenta.

Westminster Advisers has been bought out by three of its senior consultants. Founder Douglas Smith has sold to MD Dominic Church and account directors Ian Targett and Marc Woolfson.

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