Media Intelligence Partners

Media Intelligence Partners

Background

Media Intelligence Partners (MIP) is a London-based PR firm which works with an “international range of think tanks, companies, campaign groups, political figures and high net-worth individuals” to provide services including “public affairs” and “campaigns and advocacy”. [1]

MIP has “earned a reputation as one of London’s most respected political consultancy and public relations firms” due to its “deep network of contacts in politics and the media”, according to its website[1]

MIP says it was “at the heart of” the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and advised the groups Grassroots Out and Conservatives for Britain during the referendum. Since then, it has “worked closely” with senior Brexit-supporting ministers David Davis and Liam Fox and the pro-Brexit pressure group Leave Means Leave. [2][3]

Several of MIP’s clients have been based at 55 Tufton Street, home to a number of economically libertarian groups, including the TaxPayers’ Alliance and the UK’s principal climate science denial group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). [4]

Other past MIP clients include the now-defunct free-market thinktank UK2020, founded by former Environment Secretary Owen PatersonUS conservative thinktank the Heritage FoundationLegatum Institute and Economists for Free Trade[4]

MIP is chaired by Nick Wood who was Press Secretary and Media Director to Conservative Leaders William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith, having previously been Chief Political Correspondent at the Times and Political Editor of the Daily Express. [5],[6] 

Wood co-founded MIP in 2004 with Conservative MP and now Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt, and former Deputy Media Director to the Conservative Party, Nick Longworth. MIP’s team includes former staff at the BBC, the EU, and the George W. Bush administration. [6][7]

Nick Wood and MIP were previously listed as Directors of The Conservative Woman, alongside Kathryn Gyngell and Laura Perrins and Wood was a regular contributor to the blog in 2014-2015. [8][9]

The Telegraph reported during the 2009 MPs’ expenses scandal that over £66,000 of public money had been spent on Media Intelligence Partners’ services by Conservative MPs in the preceding years. [10]

MIP is listed on the Tobacco Tactics website, run by the University of Bath, for its work providing communications services to Philip Morris International. Philip Morris has donated large amounts to the Koch-family’s Competitive Enterprise Institute and to Atlas Network organisations that promote misinformation about climate science. The cigarette company is not listed among MIP’s clients on its website. [11][12][13]

Nick Wood, and MIP CEO, Matthew Walsh, are part of the leadership team of the newly-founded pro-Brexit thinktank the Centre for Brexit Policy[14]

Clients

MIP clients include organisations in the pro-Brexit 55 Tufton Street network, as well as other US and UK-based organisations that have links to or have promoted climate science denial. Current and former clients, as listed on MIP’s website, include: [15]

Civitas – Civitas is an educational thinktank based at 55 Tufton Street. Civitas Trustees include GWPF Advisor Sir Alan Rudge, and donor Lord Nigel Vinson. GWPF Trustee and Director, Ruth Lea, was also involved in Civitas as Director of their Manufacturing Renewal Project. Civitas has published reports arguing against policies to tackle climate change. This includes a 2013 report by John Constable, which argued that a shift to renewables would “lower wages” in the energy sector and cause the economy to “stagnate”. Constable is an Advisor to the GWPF and the Energy Editor of its campaigning arm, the Global Warming Policy Forum. [16], [17], [18][3], [19][20]

Leave Means Leave MIP has worked with Leave Means Leave since the EU referendum to “make sure the instructions of British people are acted upon”. The group was co-founded by Chair of the Brexit Party, Richard Tice, and former Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce, John Longworth. Its advisory board includes MPs Sammy Wilson and Owen Paterson. It is also based at 55 Tufton Street. [3][21][22]

The Heritage Foundation – The Heritage Foundation is a US conservative thinktank founded in 1973. The Foundation has had a considerable influence on Republican Party policy since it was established. Funders have included oil giant ExxonMobil, the Mercer Family Foundation and numerous groups tied to the Koch family. Liam Fox attended meetings with the Heritage Foundation during his time as International Trade Secretary. Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has also attended US-based events at the thinktank. [23][24][25]

Liam FoxMIP‘s website states that it has “advised and worked closely with” senior cabinet ministers with a Brexit-related role including former International Trade Secretary Liam Fox. Fox founded and chaired the thinktank Atlantic Bridge which had a partnership with the Heritage Foundation. DeSmog revealed Fox had held meetings with the conservative thinktank to discuss a USUK Trade Deal shortly after his appointment as International Trade Secretary in 2016. [2][26][27]

Economists for Free Trade (EFT)EFT is a pro-Brexit group with strong ties to the 55 Tufton Street Network. GWPF Advisor Matt Ridley is an advisor to EFT and EFT’s convener, Edgar Miller, was an early donor, fundraiser and founder of the GWPF. [28][29][30]

UK2020UK2020 was set up and chaired by Owen Paterson until its dissolution in 2019. It advocated for a “robust energy policy” and greater use of technologies such as shale gas, extracted through fracking. Matt Ridley, a GWPF Advisor and Paterson’s brother-in-law, was a policy advisor to the thinktank which was also based at 55 Tufton St. [31], [32], [33]

Grassroots Out (GO) – Grassroots Out was co-founded by the Conservative MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove. Senior members of the MIP team were seconded to GO during the campaign and provided “high-level strategic advice to key spokespeople”. GO received support from senior Brexit-supporting politicians including then UKIP leader Nigel Farage, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP Sammy Wilson, Labour MP Kate Hoey and Liam Fox. [34], [3]

Conservatives for Britain – Conservatives for Britain was a pro-Brexit group of MPs led by Steve Baker and established in June 2015. Its President was Lord Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and founder of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). Vice Presidents included Matt Ridley, Daniel Hannan, Liam Fox, Owen Paterson and John Redwood. MIP launched the group, according to its website. [35], [36], [19], [37], [3]

The Countryside Alliance – The Countryside Alliance represents rural interests and has campaigned against the UK’s ban on fox hunting, as well as for outspoken BBC presenter and environmentalist Chris Packham to be sacked. It has previously received donations from the Sunley Foundation, a trust set up by property developer and opencast coal mine owner, Bernard Sunley, grandfather of Richard Tice. [38], [39], [40], [41]

The Conservative Woman – The Conservative Woman was established in 2014 as a “counter-cultural offensive against the forces of leftism, feminism and modernism”. Co-Director Kathryn Gyngell has dismissed fears about climate change as “climate hysteria”. The Conservative Woman regularly features articles promoting climate science denial, including by the GWPF’s Head of Policy Harry Wilkinson. [42], [43]

Carbon Trade Xchange (CTX) – Carbon Trade Xchange describes itself as “the world’s first electronic Exchange for trading voluntary carbon credits”, and also provides offsetting, carbon footprinting and certification services. CTX has close ties with the aviation industry and sponsored an industry event entitled “Aviation Carbon” in 2019. The group was criticised by campaigners at the time, who said its focus on offsets was simply a way for polluting industries to manage their “public image”. [44], [45]

The Legatum Institute – The Legatum Institute is an “independent, non-partisan, global think tank” founded in 2007. The Institute shares past and current members of staff with 55 Tufton Street organisations including Vote Leave, the Taxpayer’s Alliance and the Institute of Economic Affairs, such as Matthew Elliott and Shanker Singham. It has previously received funding from the Charles Koch Foundation. [46], [47], [48]

Stance on Climate Change

MIP’s Chairman, Nick Wood, has previously dismissed politicians who have attempted to raise awareness of climate change. In a 2007 Conservative Home article, Wood accused David Cameron of being a “political fashion victim” for “parading his concern about climate change”. In 2012, he used a Daily Mail column in 2012 to mock former Democratic Candidate, Al Gore, for his focus on climate change during the 2000 US Presidential Election. [49], [50]

Funding

MIP’s annual revenue is not publicly available but its 2018-19 accounts showed the company held £20,214 worth of net assets. [52]

Key People

Nick Wood is the Chairman of MIP. He was Chief Political Correspondent for The Times from 1986 to 1996 and the Chief Political Editor of the Daily Express from 1996 to 1998. He then worked as Press Secretary and Media Director for the Conservative Party leaders William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith from 1998 to 2003. Wood helped to establish Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice thinktank in 2004, the same year he started MIP. He currently helps to lead the pro-Brexit thinktank the Centre for Brexit Policy. Wood has been described by the magazine PR Week as a “die-hard Thatcherite” and was a critic of David Cameron’s emphasis on climate change during his time as Conservative Leader of the Opposition. [5], [6], [14], [49]

Penny Mordaunt is a co-founder and former Director of MIP. The Conservative MP and Paymaster General, formerly International Development and Defence Secretary helped co-found the consultancy in 2004 when she was a Parliamentary Candidate for Portsmouth North. She was a Director until 2010, resigning her position shortly after receiving criticism of her role as a lobbyist. Mordaunt has received donations from hedge fund manager Sir Michael Hintze, a known financial backer of the GWPF and a major donor to the Conservative Party. [6], [52], [53], [54]

Other:

  • Matthew Walsh – CEO and Director

  • Mike Magan – Senior Consultant and Former Director

  • Elaine Thomas – Communications Consultant

  • Nick Longworth – Co-Founder and Former Director 

  • Mark Florman – Former Director

  • Alistair Thompson – Former Director [53], [7]

Actions

June 7, 2015

MIP helped to launch Conservatives for Britain, a group of Conservative MPs, MEPs, councillors and party members founded by MP Steve Baker and MEP David Campbell Bannerman to campaign for the UK to leave the EU. Its launch was reported on the Telegraph front page under the headline “50 Tory MPs start anti-EU offensive”. The article reported on Conservatives for Britain’s warning that unless then Conservative Leader David Cameron negotiated radical changes with the EU, a large number of Conservative MPs would campaign to leave. [3], [55], [56]

Related Organisations

Contact & Address

According to its website in July 2020: [1]

Media Intelligence Partners

83 Victoria Street

London

SW1H 0HW

T: +44 (0) 203 008 8147

E: [email protected]

Social Media

Resources

  1. About Us,Media Intelligence Partners. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/UOUr9
  2. Brexit Consultancy,Media Intelligence Partners. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/WiMkP

  3. Case Study: EU Referendum,” Media Intelligence Partners. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/9c5Zb

  4. Clients,Media Intelligence Partners. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/0UDfA

  5. Nick Wood,” Media Intelligence Partners. Archived July 2020, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/5PdeH

  6. Ian Hall, “Profile: Tory Hack Bounces Back – Nick Wood, Managing Director, Media Intelligence Partners,” PR Week, June 11, 2014. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/60l21

  7. Our Team,” Media Intelligence Partners. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/HOevE

  8. Conservative Woman – Company No 09224574,” Companies House. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/YV1yJ

  9. Author: Nick Wood,” Conservative Woman, Archived 20 July, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/MojXj

  10. Christopher Hope, Holly Watt and Jon Swaine, “MPs’ expenses: Tories paid Nick Wood, party’s former spin doctor, £66,000 for advice,” The Telegraph, May 26, 2009. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Snkqd

  11. Media Intelligence Partners,” Tobacco Tactics. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/94N8U

  12. Mat Hope, “Revealed: How the Tobacco and Fossil Fuel Industries Fund Disinformation Campaigns Around the World,” DeSmog. February 20, 2019.

  13. Clients,Media Intelligence Partners. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/0UDfA

  14. Our Leadership,” The Centre for Brexit Policy. Archived June 30, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/M2e9m

  15. About Us,” Civitas. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/LB8x8

  16. Wind-Power: Inordinately Expensive and Ineffective at Cutting Co2 Emissions,” Civitas, January 9, 2012. Archived January 7, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/tPJ4J

  17. Tom Bawden, “Britain’s leading private university ‘becoming a mouthpiece for fossil fuel industry,” The Indepedendent, March 30, 2020. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/mtpMj

  18. Case Study: EU Referendum,” Media Intelligence Partners. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/9c5Zb

  19. Who we are,” Global Warming Policy Forum. Archived January 23, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/m93oU

  20. Academic Advisory Council,” Global Warming Policy Foundation. Archived June 30, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/BleyE

  21. Asa Bennett, “Nigel Farage embroiled in defection row with Brexit Party stalwart John Longworth,” The Telegraph, November 5, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  22. Who we are,” Leave Means Leave. Archived February 4, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/7rihv

  23. Jeremy W Peters, “Heritage Foundation says Trump has embraced Two-Thirds of its agenda,” New York Times, January 22, 2018. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/9LV4i

  24. Peter Geoghegan and Adam Ramsey, “Liam Fox’s American Friends,The New Statesman, October 26, 2018. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/I0Nfd

  25. David Pegg, Rob Evans and Felicity Lawrence, “Owen Paterson to close private thinktank that paid for overseas trips,The Guardian, October 27, 2019. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/dyHDG

  26. Jamie Doward, “Liam Fox’s Atlantic Bridge linked top tories and Tea Party activists,The Guardian, October 15, 2011. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/7YZG4

  27. Kyla Mandel, “Revealed: Liam Fox’s Post-Brexit Trade Talks with US Business Lobby and Climate Denying Think Tank the Heritage Foundation,” DeSmog. November 15, 2016.

  28. Our Team,” Economists for Free Trade. Archived June 30, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/irNAK

  29. Edgar Miller”, Economists for Free Trade. Archived June 29, 2020. Archive.fo : URL http://archive.fo/lL4OJ

  30. Brendan Montague, “Lawson’s Climate Denial Donor Boasts of Shale Gas InvestmentDeSmog, June 29, 2020

  31. David Pegg, Rob Evans and Felicity Lawrence, “Owen Paterson to close private thinktank that paid for overseas trips,The Guardian, October 27, 2019. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/dyHDG

  32. People,” UK2020. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/XnrEp

  33. Tom Bawden. “The address where Eurosceptics and climate change sceptics rub shoulders,” The Independent, February 10, 2016. Archived December 7, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/PSL5U

  34. BBC, “Arron Banks anger at Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove payments,” April 21, 2016

  35. David Pegg, Felicity Lawrence, Rob Evans. “Steve Baker, the ex-Brexit minister hell-bent on torpedoing May’s Chequers plan,” The Guardian, September 30, 2018. Archived December 10, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/okeCD

  36. Catherine Neilan. “EU referendum: Lord Lawson to head up Brexit group Conservatives for Britain, warning negotiations will yield “wafer thin” reforms,” CityAM, October 1, 2015. Archived December 10, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  37. Supporters,” Conservatives for Britain. Archived October 2, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  38. About,” The Countryside Alliance. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/QIRIX

  39. Campaign for Hunting,” The Countryside Alliance. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL:http://archive.fo/LcPA8

  40. John Vidal, “Countryside Alliance urges BBC to sack Chris Packham in Conservation Row,” The Guardian, September 7, 2015. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/CZ1jd

  41. Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation Annual Report 2013: p37,” Bernard Sunley. Archived May 3, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  42. About Us,” The Conservative Woman. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/cbehv

  43. Kathryn Gingell, “Coffee crisis? No, a global warming storm in a tea cup,” Conservative Woman,Conservative Woman, August 6, 2019. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/iItKX

  44. Why Join Carbon Trade Exchange?,” CTX Global. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/7kwMr

  45. Cashing in on the climate crisis: Carbon Trade Exchange and Carbon Aviation 2019,” Redd Monitor, September 6, 2019. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/8ToLS

  46. Baroness Philippa Stroud Appointed as CEO of the Legatum Institute,” Legatum Institute, September 12, 2016. Archived January 24, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/dCSZw

  47. Matthew Elliott. “Matthew Elliott says farewell to the Legatum Institute,” Legatum Institute, Friday 11 May, 2018. Archived December 10, 2018. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/T3f5B

  48. Alex Spence. “The Definitive Story Of How A Former Washington Lobbyist Became “The Brexiteers’ Brain”,” Buzzfeed, May 22, 2018. Archived July 16, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/vGhJi
  49. Nick Wood, “Cameron must tackle the Brownite glacier that threatens to engulf him,Conservative Home, August 20, 2007. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/25YvN

  50. Nick Wood, “It could be worse for Romney. He could be trying to persuade the feather-bedded Brits to vote for him,” Mail Online, November 6, 2012. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Q1ffs

  51. Media Intelligence Partners Ltd – Filing History,” Companies House. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/pgPlC

  52. Media Intelligence Partners Ltd – People,” Companies House. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/aWwNa

  53. Richard Collett-White and Zak Derler, “Analysis: Tories Received £1.5m from Polluting Industries and Funders of Climate Denial Since General Election,DeSmog, March 4, 2020

  54. Nick Mathieson, “Embarrassment for David Cameron over Tory hopefuls’ lobbying links,The Guardian, March 14, 2010. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/gR13H

  55. The Telegraph, “Tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph front page: 50 Tory MPs start anti-EU offensive,” Tweet by @Telegraph, June 6, 2015. Retrieved from Twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog

  56. Tim Ross, “50 Tories plot Britain’s exit from EU,” The Telegraph, June 6, 2015.  Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/45Z7T

  57. Mark Florman – Visiting Senior Fellow, Institute of Global Affairs,” The London School of Economics and Political Science. Archived July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/la8ah

  58. Mike Magan,” Media Intelligence Partners. Accessed July 20, 2020. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/wK7Cr

  59. Michael Magan,LinkedIn. Accessed July 20, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog

  60. Laura Perrins,Media Intelligence Partners. Archived July 20, 2020. Archived pdf on file at DeSmog. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/NhswO

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