Chris Grayling’s special adviser to lobby for electric scooter firm

Written by David Singleton on 18 October 2018 in News

Emma Boon joins Bird as the firm is lobbying for changes to UK law.

The transport secretary’s special adviser is quitting to be a senior lobbyist for a California-based dockless electric scooter share company.

Emma Silver (née Boon) has worked for Chris Grayling since he entered the Department for Transport in 2016, having previously been a special adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and a public affairs consultant at the top City lobbying firm Brunswick.

It emerged today that the Tory aide would be moving to Amsterdam to take up the new job with Bird. The Guido Fawkes blog reported that “her husband moved there in April for work so she’s been racking up the air miles”.

PAN has since established that Boon will be doing public policy and government relations for Western Europe at Bird, which has raised $418 million to date and is reportedly worth $2 billion.

The firm was founded in 2017 by Travis VanderZanden, formerly an executive at Lyft and at Uber. It operates electric scooters in cities throughout North America for a small fee per minute. It is also rapidly expanding in Europe, having launched in Paris and subsequently moved to Tel Aviv and Brussels.

However Bird and other startups, have run into difficulty in London, where electric scooters are illegal. The firm has been hit by a 183-year-old law, which dictates that there can't be vehicles of any kind on British pavements. Business Insider revealed that Bird is currently lobbying for a change in the law to allow it into London.




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