Jerry Hayes, the former Tory MP, wrote about Lord Mandelson on the Dale & Co blog yesterday. He observed of Mandelson’s new enterprise: “his consulting company, whose clients also seem to be as invisible as his shadow.”
It would indeed be interesting to know the identity of the clients of Global Counsel, the new advisory firm which Mandelson helped to set up. Yet it appears that there is no obligation on it to do so – despite the former business secretary sitting in the House of Lords, a legislative body.
The register of interests in the Lords says that the former deputy prime minister has these interests:
Category 1: Directorships
Director, Willbury Limited (trading entity for public speaking/writing)
Chairman, Global Counsel LLP (strategic advice consultancy)
The code of conduct can meanwhile be found here on the Lords website. Should Global Counsel have to declare its clients?
Apparently not. This is because full disclosure only applies to a] public affairs consultancies where b] the peer provides personal advice.
I’m told that Mandelson is an “equity partner” in Global Counsel (and therefore not necessarily providing personal advice). The business is a “strategic advice consultancy“, not a “public affairs consultancy“.
Unfortunately the company won’t talk to me so I am unable to answer the obvious question: What is the difference between the two?