The National Consumer Council has appointed a public affairs head
as the watchdog gears up for a number of Government initiatives.
Andrew Barnett, 31, joins the organisation from HSBC, where, as media
relations manager, he handled PR for the bank’s small and medium-sized
In his new post, Barnett will oversee media and Government relations,
publications and liaison with other consumer groups.
He previously worked for the Arts Council as deputy to press and public
affairs head Sue Rose. In 1992, he stood as a prospective Conservative
MP for Glasgow Springburn.
Barnett’s predecessor, Diana Whitworth, left earlier this month to
become chief executive of the Carers’ National Association.
Barnett will oversee a team of ten at the NCC. He said: ’Consumer issues
are very high on the agenda at the moment, something which came through
again last week in the Budget, so there is a lot of work to do.’
The appointment follows the arrival of a new NCC director, Anna Bradley,
last month. Bradley said there were two priorities for Barnett
internally: to establish public affairs procedures to ensure all policy
is followed through, maximising the benefit to consumers; and to
generate best practice literature for a range of areas such as consumer
The areas of Government activity Barnett and his team will address
include two initiatives already underway. One is a White Paper due on
the development of a consumer strategy within the DTI, and the other a
Cabinet Office White Paper due on delivering public services.
Draft legislation the NCC is lobbying on includes the Freedom of
Information Bill, the Financial Services and Markets Bill about the
regulation of financial affairs, and the Bill to create a Food Standards