Ex-Tory minister Nicola Blackwood gets Global Counsel gig
Blackwood is joining Peter Mandelson's firm less than a year after leaving government.
Former Conservative health minister Nicola Blackwood is to become a senior adviser at Global Counsel, the PR and lobbying firm set up by new Labour architect Peter Mandelson.
Blackwood spent a year as parliamentary under secretary of state for public health and innovation before losing her Oxford West and Abingdon seat in the 2017 general election. She was also chair of the Commons science and technology select committee.
In the new role, Blackwood has said she will provide “strategic advice to assist Global Counsel in providing risk analysis on health, science and technology matters”.
Global Counsel was set up by Mandelson and his former aide Benjamin Wegg-Prosser in 2010 with backing from marketing giant WPP. Past clients are said to have included global oil giant BP, and Asia Pulp and Paper, a highly controversial logging firm which has been accused by Greenpeace of illegally chopping down rainforests in Indonesia. Another recent client is the controversial aluminium tycoon Oleg Deripaska.
The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments has given Blackwood (who is now called Nicola Blackwood-Bate) the go-ahead to take up the part-time post subject to the usual lobbying restrictions. Under the rules, former ministers are banned from directly lobbying government for the first two years after they leave office.