Morris gets Barwick back on board for DevoConnect venture
Leading Corbynite lobbyist leaves Connect to team up with old boss again.
Former Connect Communications boss Gill Morris has renuited with former colleague Steve Barwick at her new firm DevoConnect.
Morris sold Connect last year and started DevoConnect, which is billed as “the first and only public affairs and communications agency focusing on devolution”.
Barwick is leaving Connect after six years as a senior consultant and account director at the agency, which he first joined in 1997. He previously worked as an adviser to Margaret Beckett, the former Labour party deputy leader.
Along with Morris and current Connnect boss Andy Sawford, he was one of a trio of lobbyists offering the first training course for public affairs professionals on how to engage with Labour under Jeremy Corbyn. In 2015, he was described in the weekly lobbying lowdown memo by PAN editor David Singleton “the only known senior Corbyite in the public affairs industry”.
Morris said, “This is great news for DevoConnect. I first started working with Steve in 1997 so it is wonderful to have him back on board. He is one of the best and most professional lobbyists I know and together we will be a formidable force for change. We both live in the North and have a shared vision.
“DevoConnect is on a mission to change the way people think about lobbying. 19 million people in England already have a Metro Mayor and there will definitely be more devolution to come. In the future, decision making and control will not all stem from Westminster.”
Barwick said, “Having been at the cutting edge of regional and devolution policy I wanted to make a big commitment at this crucial time for DevoConnect. It’s great that we are helping to define and shape the policy debate now that devolution is all set to deepen and widen.”