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Stuart Thomson

Head of Public Affairs, Bircham Dyson Bell

Stuart is a public affairs and communications specialist with Bircham Dyson Bell advising clients on all elements of their public affairs strategies including political and corporate communications and reputation management. His work also includes consultation and planning communications and he has advised on a number of high profile media relations and crisis communications programmes. Stuart is an honorary research fellow at the University of Aberdeen and is the author of several books including ‘New Activism and the Corporate Response‘ (heralded as a book that “every aspiring business leader should read” by MIS Asia), ‘Public Affairs in Practice‘ and ‘The Dictionary of Labour Quotations‘ which was published by Britain’s leading political publisher, Biteback. His most recently published book, ‘Public Affairs: A Global Perspective’ has been called ‘an absolute treasure-trove’ and is a recommended read by the Government Communication Service (GCS). Stuart regularly writes and lectures on a range of business and political issues and as well as blogging for BDB and the Huffington Post, he has written for the CBI, UKTI, Total Politics and LabourList. He is also an adviser to the Entrepreneurs Network (TEN). He has appeared on Sky News, BBC 5 Live, BBC World, the Today programme and on Ukrainian TV and has been a judge for both the Public Affairs News and PR Week Awards. He is a CIPR Trainer.
This Is Not The Political Silly

This Is Not The Political Silly Season

So far from the Summer being the political 'silly season' it will be critical to pay attention to what happens this year. Your promised 'digital detox' sitting on a beach will have to wait. Instead, look forward to checking Twitter, news sites and your digital subscriptions.
18/07/2017 11:03 BST
Playing The Media

Playing The Media Game

The leak of the Labour manifesto could have gone horribly wrong but instead it has led to days of positive coverage. Labour appears to finally be playing the media game and Mrs May is helping. Whatever the source of the manifesto leak, Labour has enjoyed days of consistent media coverage and is trying to take charge of the policy debate. It has been clear in promoting the policies that polls indicate are generally popular with the public.
16/05/2017 12:19 BST
Be Careful What You Wish For,

Be Careful What You Wish For, Theresa

Any political decision is not without risk but announcing a General Election is the biggest of them all. In Theresa May's case the U-turn over whether to hold one at all is not the best start but her need to silence critics in her own party and an apparently unassailable lead over a feeble Labour Party are just too much to ignore. The opportunities outweigh the risks. But the PM's short term gains may prove an undoing as well.
24/04/2017 12:44 BST
The New Special

The New Special Relationship?

The meeting of Donald Trump and Theresa May took on a significance way beyond the usual meeting of two world leaders. Whatever the actual outcomes of this meeting, the question is really about what type of relationship the UK wants to have with the US.
31/01/2017 12:35 GMT
Post-Truth In

Post-Truth In Politics

The news that Oxford Dictionaries has declared 'post-truth' its 2016 international word of the year is not just a sign of the impact it has had on politics. Unless challenged 'post-truth' will become accepted practice with evidence and experts being consigned to history. There is no reason why this cannot apply as much to business communications as politics. Unchecked, it will become how we communicate all the time.
16/11/2016 16:10 GMT
Labour - The New Nasty

Labour - The New Nasty Party?

There are leadership debates taking place in the Greens, Ukip and Labour parties. The Conservative leadership race has accidentally come to a quick conclusion after Andrea Leadsom pushed the self-destruct button. The level of political upheaval though remains unprecedented and there is no doubt that it is a consequence of the Brexit result. But in the Labour contests we are about to see some of the nastiest politics we have seen in over 30 years.
11/07/2016 16:58 BST
What Happens to Politics After the EU

What Happens to Politics After the EU Referendum?

The referendum vote will change British politics whatever the outcome. Putting to one side the longer-term ramifications of a potential Brexit and what it would mean for unpicking the relationship between the UK and the EU, neither Cameron or Corbyn will be sitting comfortably after the 23 June. So what are some of the potential outcomes that we should be prepared for?
13/06/2016 17:23 BST
Sleepwalking Into

Sleepwalking Into Brexit

We might not have long to wait until the Prime Minister announces the date of the European referendum and the basis of the deal that has finally been agreed. But what is clear is that if the pro-membership campaign does not get some momentum going soon then we will sleepwalk into Brexit.
18/02/2016 21:54 GMT
The Day George Osborne Waved Goodbye to Leading the Conservative

The Day George Osborne Waved Goodbye to Leading the Conservative Party

Osborne will also not gain a boost in popularity from amongst the Conservative Party membership by going down an anti EU line which Boris or Teresa might try to do. He has to stand on his record and achievements. He has misjudged the mood on the tax issue and it will haunt him.
09/02/2016 10:22 GMT
Who Wants to Lead the Labour

Who Wants to Lead the Labour Party?

The Labour Party has a leader in place who was democratically elected only a few months back with a massive majority. But there has been no honeymoon period for Jeremy Corbyn and he has faced pressure from inside and outside the Party from day one. But the question is who would want to challenge Corbyn and lead the Party in any case?
25/11/2015 12:29 GMT
The Tory Policy Development

The Tory Policy Development Playbook

Fresh from winning a majority at the General Election, the Conservative Government has been free to develop policies without fear of the need to comprise with a coalition partner. But rather than a clear set of policies being laid out, an agenda emerged based on the election manifesto.
11/09/2015 15:31 BST
When Is Being Anti-Business Not Being

When Is Being Anti-Business Not Being Anti-Business?

The Government sells the story of its intervention in way that does not frighten businesses. Labour failed at this. Given public opinion and the Government's own actions, it is not the case that 'anti-business' measures are off the agenda but if you are going to do them then there is a need to get the message right.
12/06/2015 11:30 BST
Why Labour Needs Blair More Than

Why Labour Needs Blair More Than Ever

Labour has been left devastated by its election result. It is not just the scale of the defeat but its unexpected nature. Now the voices come thick and fast, advising on what went wrong and what should happen now. Amongst all of these comes Tony Blair.
12/05/2015 11:04 BST