Simon Walker, a partner with financial PR firm Brunswick, has taken
leave of absence to become a policy adviser to Prime Minister John
Walker, who quit Hill and Knowlton in Brussels to head up Brunswick’s
public affairs activities in May 1994, joined the Number Ten policy unit
two weeks ago. His main areas of responsibility currently are the
private finance initiative and the City.
Headed by Norman Blackwell, the policy unit provides policy advice and
analysis to the Prime Minster. A key part of its role is to look for new
ideas and angles in the run-up to the election.
Walker is not the first PR man to make the move - Jonathan Hill joined
the Policy Unit from Lowe Bell and went on to become the PM’s political
secretary. He rejoined Lowe Bell in 1994.
Prior to joining Brunswick, Walker was MD of H&K in Brussels for three
years. Although Brunswick has never claimed to compete with specialist
lobbying firms it has tried to position itself as a ‘campaigning agency’
with clients such as British Airways and the Malaysian Timber Council.
Meanwhile Brunswick has appointed a new partner - former head of
programming at Select TV’s cable station The People’s Channel James
Hogan. Susan Gilchrist has also been made a full partner.