NUJ Press & PR


NUJ PR & Communications branch
c/o NUJ HQ 72 Acton Street, London, WC1X 8NB.
0207843 3700.

PR & Communications Branch Organiser: Fiona Swarbrick 0208 843 3729

Chair: John Millington

Vice-Chairs: Monica Foot and Mick Holder (job share) 0208 223 0712

Branch Secretary: Mark Whitehead 07906720141

Branch Treasurer: Carmel McHenry

Assistant Secretary: Sian Jones 07793314249

Newsletter Editor: Lisa Browne

Membership and Recruitment/Retention Officer: Mark Whitehead

Branch Equality Officer: Carmel McHenry 0207 226 5501

Welfare Officer and DM Convenor: Debbie Cavaldoro

Sector NEC member: Sian Jones

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Future branch meetings 2016

New Venue until further notice: London Welsh Centre, 157-163 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8UE. The building is fully accessible. The nearest tube/station is King's Cross/St Pancras International.

Meetings: Wednesdays 6.30pm 10 May, 14 June and 12 July.

Ministers Ordered To Reveal Meetings With Lobbyists

by David Singleton, Public Affairs

The government has been refusing to reveal who Andrew Lansley met when health secretary.

Campaigners for greater transparency in lobbying have been boosted by a ruling that could mean ministers are forced to reveal full details of their ministerial diaries.

The government has failed in a bid to block disclosure of the diary kept by former health secretary Andrew Lansley when he was drawing up the Health and Social Care Act – and when he was allegedly subjected to extensive lobbying by private healthcare interests.

Lansley was health secretary from 2010 to 2012. He stood down as a Tory MP in 2015 and was made a peer by David Cameron.

He went on to take a job with management consultants Bain & Company advising corporate clients on healthcare reforms. He also asked for official approval to work for the firm set up by his wife, Sally Low, called Low Associates, which specialises in PR and EU-related public affairs.

Critics have claimed that the Health and Social Care Act increased the privatisation of the NHS and that Lansley could have been influenced by lobbyists.

Journalist Simon Lewis had made a request to the Department of Health under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to see diary contents for the period May 12 2010 to April 30 2011.

The government initially only provided a redacted version, but this was challenged by the Information Commissioner.

The Government has now lost a series of legal challenges to the commissioner's decision, ending in a unanimous three-judge appeal ruling yesterday in favour of disclosure.

In the lead ruling, Sir Terence Etherton said the FOI Act created a general right of access to information held by public authorities but allowed for exemptions from disclosure.

Dismissing the Government appeal, he said the benefits of disclosing the information included "general value of openness" and "transparency in public administration".

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “The Government is considering the decision of the Court of Appeal and will respond in due course.”

Item uploaded: Friday, May 26 2017
Last modified: Friday, May 26, 2017

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