Them's the breaks –
The CIPR Public Affairs Group in 2022
By James Boyd-Wallis
This year has been one of the most turbulent in recent memory: three Prime Ministers, four Chancellors and five Education Secretaries. Plus, Matt Hancock nearly won I’m a Celebrity.
But, despite the tumultuous political climate, the CIPR Public Affairs Group has gone from strength to strength.
Here, we reflect on some of our highlights from the past year.
Twelve: blogs posts in 2022
With a dozen blogs on the CIPR PA Group page, we’re fast becoming the go-to place for public affairs commentary. If you want to write something in 2023, get in touch.
Eleven: Liz Truss planned to save £11 billion in ‘Whitehall waste’
In a sign of things to come, during the Summer’s Conservative leadership election, Liz Truss rowed back on her claim that she’d save £11bn in ‘Whitehall waste’. Following Liz Truss’ resignation after just 44 days in office, CIPR president-elect and PA Group committee member Rachael Clamp explained how PA professionals should react.
Ten: reasons to sign up to the CIPR’s UK lobbying register
In June, co-chair Max Sugarman set out ten reasons why public affairs professionals should sign up to the relaunched CIPR UK Lobbying Register. If you’re yet to sign up, you can do so here.
Nine: guest speakers
We’ve had a range of great guests across five events this year. From our panel on whether the future of public affairs is digital to an interview with Dr Hannah White from the Institute for Government on reforming Westminster, we’ve had a packed events schedule.
Eight: candidates for Conservative leader
During the first Conservative leadership election, eight Conservative MPs stepped forward in the race to replace Boris Johnson. Westminster became a hotbed of hostile briefings and policymaking largely came to a halt. I considered how PA professionals could focus on their priorities during the uncertainty.
Seven: new committee members
Last month, the PA Group elected a new and expanded committee for 2023 with a great mix of new and experienced members. With a busy schedule planned for next year, the group’s new members will help us keep up the momentum.
Six: party conferences
From the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham to the Green Party’s in Harrogate, 2022 saw six party conferences. Group co-chair David Boot explained why they still matter, and I set out how to make the most of them when attending.
Five: ways to restore trust
With our faith in our democratic institutions now worryingly low, co-chair Max Sugarman had five suggestions for the Prime Minister to restore trust in politics.
Four: in ten PA practitioners are on the move
In July, committee member Donna Castle reflected on the state of public affairs in 2022 following the CIPR’s state of the profession survey. The survey revealed four in ten PA professionals are planning to look for a new job, yet half of recruiting managers are ‘struggling to recruit’.
Three: Prime Ministers
When the Conservative Party anointed Rishi Sunak as the new leader and Prime Minister in October, co-chair Max Sugarman examined the impact of the short-term minister. Despite the game of ministerial musical chairs getting quicker, Max had some key tips to respond to these more turbulent times.
Two: new co-chairs
At our AGM in November, the group’s members elected two co-chairs. This year, David Boot joins Max Sugarman. Get in touch with either of them if you want to get involved, have ideas or want to write for us.
One: Lobbying for Good Lobbying campaign launch
Finally, in December, the CIPR launched the Lobbying for Good Lobbying campaign. Public trust in the UK’s democratic process is low. So, it’s time for the UK Government, MPs and Peers to come together with the lobbying industry to create reform that generates greater compliance, transparency and openness. Find out more about the campaign here.