A peek into lobbying

Parliament's central lobby spire
Parliament's entral lobby spirec

There were fresh demands for reform of the lobbying industry today after a sting operation saw a major company boast about its influence on the prime minister.

An undercover investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism published in the Independent newspaper has shone a light on the methods used by lobbying firm Bell Pottinger, one of the biggest in the business.

Techniques which are not included in the written presentation "because it's embarrassing if it gets out" included a team which can "sort" negative Wikipedia entries and the creation and maintenance of third-party blogs promoting positive content.

Tim Collins, managing director of Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, and his colleague David Wilson cited an instance when David Cameron raised an issue with the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao less than 24 hours after a client had first contacted Bell Pottinger with their concern.


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