Mike Finan, doyen of Whitehall PR and last of a very rare breed, takes a
final leave of absence from the Office for National Statistics in
It might not be a name that everyone will recognise, but Finan has
quietly had a hand in some of Britain’s biggest headline-hitting stories
over the last 33 years.
Approaching retirement as senior press officer at National Statistics,
Finan began his PR career as a Treasury press officer in 1962 in the
same week that Harold MacMillan sacked Selwyn Lloyd as Chancellor of the
A portentous start, but worse was to come. Barely a year later he was
leading Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies up the back stairs of the
Treasury to give evidence on the Profumo scandal.
Other career highlights include announcing the devaluation of the pound
in 1967, explaining decimalisation in 1971 and twice experiencing the
splitting of the Treasury.
Six Prime Ministers and 11 chancellors later, Finan has no regrets about
his time in government PR. ‘It’s a ringside seat on history,’ he says.
‘But with a ringside seat there is blood spilled because people will
always blame the messenger. But its an addictive job and it keeps you