Burnham’s spin doctor is director at lobbyist firm that advises union-buster Ineos

A lobbyist from the firm that advises energy firm Ineos, which was involved in a biter industrial dispute with Unite the Union, is now working as a key member of Andy Burnham’s leadership team.

Katie Myler, a former special adviser to Burnham when he was health secretary, now works for international lobbying company, Burson-Marsteller.

They claim on their website that their staff have provided “senior counsel” to the Ineos “CEO and management team” during “the Grangemouth industrial dispute.”

Back in 2013, 800 staff at the petrochemical plant in Falkirk threatened to go on strike after management brought forward a survival plan, which included a three-year pay freeze and changes to pensions.

Unite later relented in a bid to save jobs.

Myler was appointed as director of communications for Burnham’s campaign last week, after taking a sabbatical from Burson-Marsteller where she works as a managing director, according to a report in PR Week.

She joins fellow lobbyist, John Lehal, who is acting as campaign director.

His company, Insight Consulting Group, has worked for a string of private medical companies, according to reports in this morning’s Independent.

The revelations will come as a major embarrassment to Burnham, who has made much of his opposition to private sector involvement in the NHS.

He is also thought to have the active support of Unite and has pitched himself as the main centre-left challenger for the Labour leadership.

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6 Responses to “Burnham’s spin doctor is director at lobbyist firm that advises union-buster Ineos”

  1. swatantra says:

    These days you take work where you can find it.

  2. Jon Lansman says:

    I share the concern of the un-named (I wonder why s/he is unnamed?) author entirely about the relationship between Labour leaders/potential leaders/health ministers and lobbyists for private healthcare providers and union-busing firms like INEOS. However, I do remember a rather different slant on INEOS during the Falkirk fiasco and the subsequent sacking of Unite representatives at the plant. What has changed I wonder? Not I hope that you merely happen to support a different leadership candidate.

  3. John Jones says:

    Frankly in a rational political party interested in winning general elections but which has not won one in pushing half a century except when some bloke called Blair was in charge (whom many members bizarrely regard as not properly of the party at all), and where the typical approach has been to choose a leader who panders to the left-wing activists and trade unionists and then to express wonder and irritation that the voters keep rejecting them, having a backer who is in any way associated with union-busting and anegring the Left ought to be regarded as an advantage in a candidate for the leadership.

    Unfortunately Labour isn’t a rational political party interested in winning general elections.

  4. Robert says:

    We have at best twenty MP’s who you would deem to be to the left but then you get people who will tell you the left is causing the issues within labour.

    Blair left of his own accord he walked away to make his fortune the accusation that Brown would have sacked him is laughable at best.

    Labour is now right wing, it did well before the Tories found it’s own leader who looked and sounded like Blair, same as the liberals with Clegg, now Blair has gone the people are returning to the Tories and the right wingers in labour cannot under stand why people no longer need it.

    It hurts.

  5. Mark Whitehead says:

    “The revelations will come as a major embarrassment to Burnham” – I doubt it! PS why is there no byline on this piece?

  6. margaret anne evans says:

    B Liar ruined The Labour Party.
    Corbyn is resurrecting it.
    Vote for Corbyn and watch real Labour members return.

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