Public Affairs: The Week in Lobbying

Portland has parted company with Conservative parliamentary candidate Charlotte Leslie, less than a year after she joined the agency as an education associate.

Leslie started at Portland in June 2009. Her Bristol North West constituency is a key target for the Tories in the general election, requiring a swing of just 1.05 per cent to win the seat from Labour MP Doug Naysmith. Portland partner Steve Morris confirmed: 'Charlotte Leslie has left Portland to focus on her campaign.'

Fishburn Hedges has launched a guide for public affairs professionals wanting to influence a new government. Preparing for Change sets out practical tips, drawing on the last handover of government in 1997. It was launched at a breakfast event this week with The Times' chief political commentator Peter Riddell.

Aequitas Consulting has been launched by a trio of former international special advisers, Kirsten Xanthippe, Emily Thomas and Dorothea Hodge.The agency is billed as 'an innovative new public policy company that promises to raise the game of strategic corporate affairs consultancy available to clients in the UK and globally'. The three founding directors have worked as special advisers in the UK, the United States and Canada.

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