Lord Hill is to sell his shares in publicly listed pr and lobbying group Huntsworth following criticism from European politicians and transparency campaigners over his selection as Britain’s candidate to be EU commissioner.
Phillipe Lamberts, leader of the Green group of MEPs, noted his concerns over Lord Hill’s work as a lobbyist, saying:
“There is no shame in having worked for the private sector. The question is conflicts of interest. If it comes to a hearing, someone with a past in lobbying can expect to be grilled with double the energy. We want to reduce the influence of lobbying and we don’t want to let the wolves into the sheep fold.”
After a career with Lowe-Bell communications and Bell Pottinger Lord Hill founded lobbying shop Quiller Consultants in 1998, which was bought by Huntsworth in 2006. Lord Hill continued his work as a lobbyist until becoming a minister in 2010.
The Government faces an uphill battle to secure the desired internal market, trade or competition portfolio for Hill after a hostile reception to his appointment from European politicians.
President-elect of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday promised to establish a mandatory lobbying register for the commission.