In 2010 David Cameron gave a speech in which he outlined “the next big scandal waiting to happen.”
Cameron said: “I’m talking about lobbying — and we all know how it works. The lunches, the hospitality, the quiet word in your ear, the ex-ministers and ex-advisers for hire, helping big business find the right way to get its way.”
Since then Cameron’s ex-ministers and ex-advisers have shown they took Cameron’s speech not as a warning, but as advice. They are queuing up to be “for hire” to “big business.” James Chapman is the latest in the queue.
For the last year Chapman has been a special adviser to Brexit Secretary David Davis. Before that he was director for communications for then-chancellor (now Evening Standard editor) George Osborne.
In July he became a “partner” in the “political practice” of lobbyists Bell Pottinger. The company has a long history of scandal.
In 2011, undercover reporters from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism spoke to the company, claiming to be representatives of the government of Uzbekistan trying to get a better image. The journalists picked Uzbekistan because of its terrible record on human rights and child labour.
Bell Pottinger was happy to take the meeting, and suggested it had an inside track to the Tory leadership.