APPC to ‘monitor’ Teneo
Lobbying firm quizzed by industry body over William Hague’s role.
The Association of Professional Political Consultants has said it will ‘monitor’ Teneo Blue Rubicon to ensure that the firm is not breaching the code of conduct through its involvement with William Hague.
PAN can reveal that senior APPC figures have probed the US-based firm following recent reports that Hague is now working for Teneo’s ‘Brexit client transition unit’ after being signed up last year as a part-time adviser.
It comes as Teneo has hired former Number 10 communications director Craig Oliver as a senior managing director, with a role providing “strategic advice” to international companies on a range of issues including Brexit.
Teneo's UK public affairs arm is a paid-up member of the APPC whose code of conduct states that member organisations and political practitioners must not “employ” or “make any award or payment in money or in kind” to any MP, MEP or sitting peer.
But Hague was elevated to the House of Lords shortly after standing down as foreign secretary in 2015.
APPC chairman Mark Glover said: “It is APPC policy that members of the House of Lords are not allowed to conduct, UK public affairs or lobbying work, for a member agency.”
He added that Teneo director Graham McMillan had met with the APPC Management Committee and “provided a written response to reassure us that Lord Hague is contractually banned from participating in any UK lobbying or public affairs activity”.
Glover added: “We continue to monitor this situation as we believe it is a core tenet of APPC membership that there needs to be clear blue water between lobbyist and legislator.”
One industry source suggested that Teneo appeared to have been given a “sweetheart deal” by the APPC.
But Teneo sources insisted that the APPC’s stance does not amount to a sweetheart deal because Hague is working for Teneo Holdings in the United States, rather than Teneo Blue Rubicon in the UK, and because he does not do any UK lobbying.
Sources at Teneo have also said it is not the case that Hague is working for Teneo’s Brexit client transition unit.
A Teneo spokesman said: “William does not do what you would call public affairs or government relations advice to UK clients about UK matters.”