jo swinson political headlines

Political Headlines – Watson urged to apologise after false allegations

Today’s political headlines includes Labour deputy leader Tom Watson urged to apologise after false allegations, Swinson elected as Lib Dem leader and Johnson to announce new domestic policies if elected. 

Watson urged to apologise after VIP paedophile ring accuser convicted of lying
The Times says that Labour deputy leader Tom Watson is being urged to apologise after the paedophile Carl Beech was convicted of making false allegations about being abused by a ring of VIPs, including former Home Secretary Leon Brittan. Watson wrote that it was ‘a travesty’ that Brittan ‘will never be asked the truth’, while the son of another accused politician, Greville Janner, claimed that Watson had politicised the police investigation for ‘personal political advancement’.

Swinson elected as Lib Dem leader
The Guardian reports that Jo Swinson has been elected as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, winning almost two-thirds of the vote. In her acceptance speech, she said that ‘liberalism is alive and thriving, in the face of nationalism, populism, the catastrophe of Brexit’, adding that it was ‘the time for working together, not the time for tribalism’. The Times adds Justice Secretary David Gauke has warned that a no-deal Brexit will ‘play into the hands’ of the Lib Dems, saying Swinson ‘will be an energetic and passionate advocate’.

Johnson to announce new domestic policies if he’s elected today
The Sun claims that Boris Johnson will immediately ‘start to unveil a blitzkrieg of domestic plans’ if he is elected as Tory leader today. He will announce a state-backed social care insurance scheme, new rules and funding to end regional imbalances in school funding and a ‘Brexit dividend’ for the regions. The Daily Telegraph says that Johnson will lift Hammond’s controls on public spending, pausing deficit reduction to fund tax breaks for those earning under £80,000.

May and Hancock in argument over ‘sin taxes’
According to the Financial Times, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock tried to block the publication of a new green paper promising to end smoking by 2030 and to ban the sale of energy drinks to children, but was over-ruled by Theresa May. He is a supporter of Boris Johnson, who has opposed so-called ‘sin taxes’.

Ministers confirm they’ll resign rather than serve under Johnson
The Guardian reports that International Development Secretary Rory Stewart has joined David Gauke and Philip Hammond in confirming that he will resign rather than serve under Boris Johnson, while Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan resigned to request an emergency debate to test whether Johnson could command a majority, but this was rejected by the Speaker. The Times says Johnson has met Stewart, Gauke and Hammond as part of a ‘charm offensive’, amid concerns they will be ‘nightmare’ backbenchers.

Three former Prime Ministers criticise Johnson over no-deal Brexit plans
The Daily Mirror leads with the news that three former Prime Ministers – Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Sir John Major – have criticised Boris Johnson over his no-deal Brexit plans, with Brown claiming that it would be the world’s largest ‘self-inflicted wound’ and Major saying that Johnson would face ‘uncompromising opposition’.

Labour steps up efforts to combat antisemitism
The Guardian says that Labour is increasing its efforts to tackle antisemitism, with the shadow cabinet backing new plans from Jeremy Corbyn to speed up the expulsion of antisemites from the party. A new rule will see members who have committed the most serious offences referred to a new panel with the power to immediately expel them.

Iran accused of ‘state piracy’ by Hunt
The Daily Mail reports that Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday accused Iran of ‘state piracy’ over its seizure of a British tanker, saying that the UK would ‘seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to support safe passage of both crew and cargo in this vital region’.

Stay up to date with Vuelio Political Services.  

China live streaming market

How can brands navigate China’s live streaming market?

This is a guest post and infographic [below] by Balvinder Kataora, marketing executive at Comms8.

An astounding 98% of people in China experience the internet through their mobile phone, which instantly makes over 800 million users a formidable cohort for marketers to tap into. When combined with the steady growth of the Chinese middle-class, it is clear to see business opportunities in what is now the world’s biggest retail market.

While the market is ripe for marketers, a unique set of technological and cultural factors has led the internet to develop differently from the UK. Having a large population, being awash with cash from a booming economy, and excellent mobile coverage roll out means the mobile app ecosystem is leaning towards innovative uses and high-bandwidth applications. Demand for long-distance communications, entertainment and hassle-free payments has propelled instant messaging, fintech apps and live streaming platforms to become a mainstay of the internet east of the Himalayas.

Live streaming has noticeably become a cultural mass phenomenon that is arguably the most popular form of online entertainment. Sitting between the crossroads of a modern-day QVC and communal socialising, platforms such as Kuaishou, Douyu, Meipai, Inke, and Momo are offering wide-spectrum appeal in any niche with seamless shopping and gifting options for fans.

The context for these live shows is often thematic and involves a presenter documenting their life and thoughts to an audience from tens of people to even millions. While intimate, some often weave product reviews and demonstrations during their shows to drive click-throughs to their own mini shops online, generating sales. Others, however, opt for the endorsement route whereby large brands, often luxury or fashion orientated, provide free samples in exchange for ‘air-time’ on their regular shows.

An increasing number of live streamers have pursued a more controversial option of gifting. Viewers buy virtual gifts with real money to effectively ‘tip’ live streamers. During these shows you will often see animated diamond icons, emoticons and sometimes richly animated flying jets and rockets shooting into space for the big spenders to show their ‘boss status’.

This business model has received criticism, as younger viewers may feel pressurised to financially support their online idols, or that the process of patronage does not manifest a physical item. The ephemeral nature of the performance makes it difficult to accurately price the value of gifts; is your favourite online star worth $2 or $200 per stream? A hard question to answer, but the value is sure to increase if the audience enjoys the stream.

Despite being relatively new, compared to more established digital trends, Deloitte has estimated the value of the live streaming market to be $4.4 billion in 2018, an 86% increase from 2016.

The attraction for the format, just as with social media, is the convenience it offers to meet like-minded people and share common interests in real time – and for free. For a nation that has witnessed radical demographic change over the last 50 years, much is out of balance. The preference for parents to have boys, has meant that the gender ratio has widened to the degree that there are almost 35 million more men than women, which is more than the population of Malaysia.

The gender disparity in the country is also reflected in the viewing audiences too. In 2016, IResearch found that approximately 63% of viewers were male with 35.5% being female. These platforms are in some cases allowing the socially isolated to instantly be adored with attention and praise from their most preferred online star, who happens to be from the opposite sex.

The biggest hurdle for brands is how to enter methodically into a fast-moving market without succumbing to social or legal faux-pas. The line between advertiser, endorser, advocate and consumer is increasingly blurred. So much so, there are concerns to whether viewers will be sure they are being marketed to, as per requirements of legalisation for online endorsements and sponsorships.

Given the rise of live streaming in China what can international brands learn from the market in the East?

New forms of sales relationships
It is almost unheard of to use pay-per-click (PPC) marketing or pay-per-sale (PPS) as arrangements are almost always a flat rate fee. That said, platforms like Bangtuike are trying to make all live streamers and online influencers advertisers, no matter how small their audience is. The desire to work with micro content providers is seeing greater demand as brands are able to capitalise on a wider audience market.

Being mindful of corporate social responsibility
Unlike TV and Radio, regulatory bodies are still catching up to the technology and so there is a legal blind spot in the way brands are able to use the platform. Brands need to step back from their campaign from time to time and assess how the overall impact might be interpreted, rightly or wrongly.

Localising content
As David Ogilvy once said, if you going to sell to someone it is best to do so in their own language. Localising content is the key to winning hearts and minds.

One way to do this is to use influencers who are not only based in the large metropolises. Knowing that the next 20 cities after Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong still hold a huge retail population, and moving away from a well-beaten path, could reap huge rewards.

In essence, developing a Chinese voice for the brand is key to gaining market share and have your brand, in a way, speak Chinese.

Crisis Comms for Terrorist Incidents

How do you manage crisis comms for terrorist related events?

A new guide by the CIPR and CPNI explains how the right communications can mitigate the harmful effects of terrorist incidents and in some cases even prevent them in the first place.

We are delighted that the guide’s co-authors Sarah Pinch, Managing Director of Pinch Point Communications and Dan Gerrella, Associate Director at Liz Male Consulting will join our webinar, Expect the Unexpected – Crisis Comms for Terrorist Incidents to discuss best practice for communication management before, during and after terrorist incidents.




Cycling blogger spotlight: Andrew Sykes,

Andrew Sykes is the writer and cyclist behind, a top 10 UK cycling blog. Covering the best routes and cycling tips, Andrew has also published three books about his travels across Europe.

We spoke to Andrew about being part of the cycling blogger community, his new bike Wanda and the best way to get in touch if you’re a PR or brand.

How do you describe what you do to other people?
I am, above all, a cyclist. Combined with a love to explore this wonderful continent that we called Europe (as well as the other six!) and the skills to express my experiences in words, I suppose I’m also a traveller and writer.

How did you discover your love of cycling?
I have always been a cyclist or at least from the point when I learned to ride a bicycle when I was very young. It remains, in my opinion, the most practical way to get from A to B and, after crossing Europe for the first time in 2010, I discovered that the combination of cycling, long-distance travelling and writing was a very good one indeed.

What’s the best bike you’ve ever ridden?
The one that I have just invested in! It’s a wonderful Koga Signature WorldTraveller bike from the Netherlands. With its hub gears, carbon belt and sturdy build, it should hopefully have me crossing more continents in the years to come. It’s also got a name: Wanda.

What’s the best cycle route in the world?
The best cycle route is the one that you abandon your car to make on two wheels instead. That could be across the country, to work or just to the end of the street.

The next big thing in cycling – what are your predictions?
I’ve mentioned my new bicycle already and some of its features; the hub gears and carbon belt are not new but, now that hub brakes have almost become standard, surely advanced drive systems are next. Time will tell. Efficient power generation when cycling has also come a long way in recent years, especially as everyone wants to keep their high-tech devices topped up on the go. Expect to see big advances in that area too.

What’s the cycling blogging community like to be a part of?
It’s great to be at the heart of it. Most cyclists are very down to earth people; we reflect the machines that we ride; humble, inconspicuous, environmentally friendly… and I’m proud to be part of that group of people.

Do you accept press releases?
Yes, as long as the general topic is in line with the themes of, namely cycling, travel and/or adventure. And I don’t turn things away simply because they are not about Europe!

What are the best campaigns you’ve collaborated on?
I’ve worked with many groups over the years helping to promote a range of services and products that I think may be of use to the readers of the website: clothing manufacturers, travel specialists and transport companies. I’m also increasingly working with tourist authorities writing bespoke content for the site about their particular corner of the world.

What advice would you give to PRs/brands reaching out to you?
Be honest in your approach. Avoid telling me that you’ve always been a fan of the site, that seems unlikely. And if you are offering sponsored content, be up front about the financial side of things. Most long-term relationships kick off with everyone knowing where they stand.

What other blogs do you read?
I’m familiar with most of the sites on the current Vuelio top ten list of cycling blogs but I have to admit that Brian Palmer’s thewashingmachinepost is hard to beat in terms of his shear depth of knowledge and attention to detail. Impressive stuff!

Nichola West, Globalmouse Travels

Family Travel Spotlight: Nichola West, Globalmouse Travels

Nichola West is the author of Globalmouse Travels, which was recently named in the top 10 UK Family travel blogs. Exploring the real side of destinations – rather than the well-worn tourist routes – Nichola and her family travel both in the UK and around the world. We caught up with Nichola to find out about the beauty of Oman, her advice for family travel and how she likes to work with PRs and brands.

How do you describe what you do to other people?
I say I try to inspire other people to keep travelling with their children, while getting to enjoy doing exactly that with mine.

How do different social channels feed into your blog?
They all work really differently, Twitter is good for chatting (and I co-run a monthly Twitter chat #familytravelhour with Lonely Planet Kids and other travel bloggers once a month, which is a fun place to all connect and talk travel); Instagram is like a blog in itself, working as a more immediate look at our travels as they happen; and Facebook is a nice place to share other travel news as well as what we’re up to. I am starting to really get in to YouTube too and enjoy making videos of the places we visit.

How easy is it to get into family travel? Did you have any major concerns?
I was really daunted by family travel in the beginning. We took a couple of trips to France that seemed quite stressful and resigned ourselves, after years of travelling as a couple, to little trips to France, thinking that was as far as we would go. Then we won a competition to travel to the Cook Islands and that transformed our mindset. If we could travel for over 24 hours with a one-year-old, we could travel anywhere. So now we go wherever any of us fancies. It was a moment of realisation that you have to relax and just go with it because anything is possible.

What’s the best family destination in the world?
Our favourite destination is Oman. We all just love it. We stayed in some beautiful resorts with swimming pools and perfect for relaxation, visited deserts for sleeping out under the stars and camel riding with nomadic Bedouins, and went to beaches to watch endangered turtles hatch. The Omani people are so friendly and welcoming and we loved the warmth of the country.

What are your top tips for long distance travel with young children?
My top tips are to relax and enjoy it. Take sticker books, wipes, snacks from home and a camera and you’ll have the best time. Children really do create a welcoming environment and we’ve had such wonderful experiences travelling in new cultures thanks to travelling with them.

How restrictive are term times for the perfect family travel experience?
Term times are definitely restrictive and annoying but then there are plenty of breaks and the key is to plan ahead. Book flights when they come out, as far in advance as you can, and you can get some great bargains. It’s also worth keeping an eye on the holidays of other countries around the world, for example Scotland usually break up before the rest of England and go back earlier so you might find it cheaper to travel up to Glasgow or Edinburgh to fly out from later in the summer when they’re back at school. In the same way, most of the US and Scandinavian countries go back to school before England, in mid-August, so going later in the month will mean more accommodation options and some good offers.

Do you accept press releases?
Definitely. It’s always good to hear the latest industry news.

What are the best collaborations you’ve worked on?
I work with a great group of family travel bloggers, The Family Travel Collective and together we have worked on some fantastic campaigns with brands including Hyundai and BenQ and destinations from Durham to Tunisia. It’s a wonderful, collaborative way to work and I love the results we get when we join together to increase reach. I also personally love working with Visit Scotland who really understand what we are looking for on a trip, from a family travel perspective and also with Visit Denmark who we just love.

What advice would you give to PRs looking to get in touch?
Please do! We love to hear from PRs and whether it’s a fully joined together campaign you’d like us to work with you on or you’re looking for ideas of how we can work together we’d love to hear from you and help to create some exciting content.

What other blogs do you read?
I love Tigerlillyquinn, Along Dusty Roads, Mrs O and many other family travel blogs.

Dangerous Instagram

Pretty dangerous: how can you ensure the influencers you work with stay safe?

Taking risks – and taking pictures of those risks – is what separates influencers from their followers. Sharing aspects of your life online that the rest of us keep private, and investing time in creating a profile with no guarantee of success, is a risk most of us won’t take.

An office job is safer, but potentially not as profitable as, say, being able to sell gamer girl bathwater after becoming popular online. Risk for the online influencer can bring rewards of attention, followers and clout, but badly-planned risk can cause great harm to reputation and personal safety. Scary examples of influencers acting dangerously for their audience now pop up in the mainstream media on a regular basis, so we’ve asked PRs who’ve worked closely with influencers how to keep those tempted by risky shots safe.

Feeling green after visits to the blue ‘Novosibirsk Maldives’
Novosibirsk in Russia has a lake with water so blue it’s almost unnatural… which it actually is, being a man-made ash dump for the local coal plant. Unfortunately, it’s also being used as the location for glamourous Instagram photoshoots. Those who’ve chosen to swim in the toxic water for pictures have reported allergic reactions and skin irritation alongside social success. So, is it worth it?
‘There are safe areas to get beautiful shots, such as controlled viewpoints, safe pools and there are even some lovely picturesque indoor spaces that have been set up now, with their “instagrammability” being their main attraction. If you’re an influencer, perhaps all of your income will come from promoting products and services on your platform. Do you really believe that those said things would be promoted to a heightened extent if you place yourself in a dangerous position to photograph them?’ – Jessica Pardoe, digital PR & outreach executive at Tecmark
‘I’d recommend to any influencers to look elsewhere as you can find plenty of alternatives that won’t involve losing an organ or their sight. Norway offers a number of locations that look incredibly similar, if not better – I would push for them to find an alternative scene for their shoots. As bad as it is to say, a huge amount of influencers images are touched up on Photoshop or via apps, therefore while they might be taking huge risks to get that turquoise shot, the question remains whether it is worth it when you could be paddling in the Brighton sea and with a few flicks of the finger you could make it look like an exotic resort’ – James Carfell, marketing for Collier
Instagram couples pretend to be Spider-Man and Mary Jane
Kelly Castille and Kody Workman of Instagram account positravelty received a backlash after posting a pic of Kody dangling Kelly from an infinity pool during a kiss.
‘At the end of the day we are to hold ourselves accountable for the decisions that we make,’ is what they posted next to the photo. Others held them accountable for promoting the dangerous lengths they went to for a pretty picture. They’re not the only dangerous kissers on Instagram, Camille and Jean of backpackdiariez shared one of their ‘wildest kisses’ in May, taken while hanging out of a train door.
‘The best thing PR agencies can do to make sure influencers don’t put themselves in risky situations is to remind them that they – the influencer – are essentially a role model for their followers. When an influencer does something that is out of bounds or potentially dangerous, they are setting a negative precedent. Brands should be very clear when drawing up contracts about what behaviour is or isn’t acceptable’ – Gabrielle Sarpong, PR executive at Feel Good Contacts
Chernobyl series sparks selfies
Tourism to Chernobyl is up following the success of the HBO series detailing the events of the 1986 tragedy – Instagrammers travelling to the site to take some pretty awful selfies is also reportedly on the rise. As well as coming across as callous and potentially harming their reputation, influencers posing in front of abandoned disaster areas also risk their health.
‘When it comes to talent putting themselves in dangerous positions, we would ensure that their safety is our top priority. There is no point risking a life ‘for the gram’. And if a more particular shot was required, we would ensure that all the right precautions were taken, the conditions were right and we have the right creatives to assist in production. Ultimately co-creating the content (instead of an individual curating the content alone) is paramount to ensure everything runs safely, smoothly and avoids any unnecessary danger’ – William Soulier, CEO and co-founder of Talent Village
Overexposure to idealised images could be harming the mental health of influencers
Just as posing in toxic water, over dangerous precipices and near radiation can result in pretty shots for social, obsessing over the shares they get can harm the influencers posting them. Recent research published in the Psychology of Popular Media Culture journal found that Instagram, more than any other social media platform, triggers comparisons and feelings of inadequacy and anxiety. This has led the platform to trial hiding public-facing stats, in the hopes it will reduce the pressure on users (read our white paper about that very topic here).
‘In the age of Instagram manipulation, photoshop editing and augmented reality, it is hard to know which image is genuine and which has been changed to look so incredibly far from the original shot. Many influencers will take 100 photos before posting a single one, trying to get that ideal shot and forgetting the natural aspect of showing who you are and letting your personality shine through’ – James Carfell
‘When you work with an influencer as a PR, they effectively work for you. I truly believe that those working in influencer marketing know exactly how to maintain relations with their influencers, and how to keep them out of harm’s way when they are promoting’ – Jessica Pardoe
If you’re a PR who’s looking to connect with influencers, but aren’t sure how to help them avoid the risks? You can encourage the social media generation to behave responsibly outdoors and find professional influencers to work with on the Vuelio Influencer Database.

Boris Johnson

What does a new Government mean for stakeholder engagement?

The dust is still settling on Prime Minister Johnson’s new cabinet appointments, which he made as soon as he came into power with a ferocity rarely seen. For those working in external affairs, keeping track of the resignations, sackings and appointments was only just the beginning, as they now find themselves in a period of stakeholder mapping, research and analysis, leading to an autumn of engagement activity with new decision makers and their teams.

A new agenda and leadership can be daunting to even the most seasoned external affairs team. Stakeholder mapping is time intensive and measuring opportunity and risk can be complex, whether it is the new appointment’s relationship with your organisation, stance on policy issues or a general lack of access.

For those organisations seeking to enter political stakeholder engagement for the first time, the new Government could be considered a blessing, but it is often difficult to know where to start. When the stage is reset, it creates space for new voices to be heard but mobilising resource to take advantage of this can be a huge hurdle.

Whether experienced or taking the leap into influencing for the first time, reviewing your processes for managing and maintaining key influential relationships is now vital. A pivotal time of change offers opportunity that should not be held back by inefficiency.

At Vuelio, we work with teams of all sizes and varying levels of experience, and they all have a single shared objective: managing effective stakeholder relationships in an increasingly volatile external environment. We help build the foundations of your external affairs structure through software that provides not only the intelligence you need, but also a selection of tools that let you map stakeholders live, as the agenda changes.

Delivering a stakeholder engagement strategy in uncertain times requires agility and belief. Working with tools such as Vuelio Stakeholder Relationship Management gives you a broad set of reports and analytics at your fingertips, that can support the decision to change direction or detail the health of any relationship. This allows you to continue to lead your organisation through the unknown and achieve your goals.

Kate Fielding Natural History Museum

Strategic comms to save the world: an interview with the Natural History Museum’s Kate Fielding

Kate Fielding is the departing head of strategic communications at the Natural History Museum, with overall responsibility for the museum’s reputation and brand. Heading up three teams – media and PR, Government relations, and special events and supporter engagement – Kate works on integrated comms and strategic messaging.

Since Kate joined, she’s been steering the Natural History Museum through a comprehensive brand extension in order to shift both public and stakeholder perceptions from just a cultural tourist attraction to an authoritative scientific institution.

We spoke to Kate about the challenges she’s faced along the way and how a museum of natural history is the key to saving our natural future.

What are the Natural History Museum’s aims?
Our purpose statement is: Inspiring love of nature and finding answers to the big issues facing humanity and the planet.

Saving the world?
Helping to save the world. It’s a big ambition and it’s about changing the way the museum is seen from a lovely old dusty building full of dead stuff to a scientific organisation, which provides a platform for engaging people with important debates. We want to help the country find the right solutions if we’re to have a future where people and the planet thrive together, which is very much in peril at the moment.

The Natural History Museum and other museums around the world have a very important role to play because our collections are not just cultural but they’re actually a scientific record that goes back, in some cases, four and a half billion years, and span the entire planet. You can look at what’s happened over time and space and see what happens if the climate changes or land is used in specific ways.

It’s something that people generally don’t know about this kind of museum, what we do and why it’s important.

How does communications work across the museum?
Museums are complex businesses. There’s effectively a small university bolted on the back of the public galleries, which has 350 scientists working on research projects and curating collections. Then there’s the bit most people think of as ‘the museum’ which is public facing and needs us to develop public programmes, exhibitions and events, as well as look after the visitors. Alongside that are our commercial businesses, which are growing in importance. Catering, retail, licensing and venue hire are all income streams.

We then have the philanthropic income development, working with trusts, foundations and high net worth individuals for funding. And then all the support structures that go into a medium-sized organisation.

Often, because it’s so complex, the way to manage it has been to work in siloes. For comms, that risks there being no coherent or consistent message and making it difficult to get across those big, exciting messages about what we’re aiming to achieve and why people should want to be a part of that. What I’ve been doing is finding ways to bring that story together within a thematic and strategic framework that’s consistent across the Museum.

Is your message the same for everyone?
The agenda and perceptions of a family coming for a fun day out and a Government minister visiting in an official capacity is hopefully different, so we have a range of messaging. What we’ve tried to do is put the brand at the heart of what we’re doing, the idea of inspiration and action whether that’s through science or otherwise.

I think in the past a lot of people haven’t seen us as a very fun day out, but as an educational destination. We did market research into this and even though we’re free to visit, if you’re coming from outside of London you’re looking at the cost to travel in, buy food and probably one or two things from the gift shop. With austerity hitting families, people are making judgements about whether they’re going to have a really great day out for that investment.

For those people, we need to say we’re a fun place to come, which is why we did the Come to Life campaign with outdoor advertising, having fun with specimens and exhibits in playful poses and accompanying ‘speech’. It also played really well on digital and social.

Down the other end we’ve got Government, who are funders, and philanthropic and corporate funders. For them, it’s about showing the work we’re doing and our ability to make an impact, whether that’s climate change and having food to eat in the future, or children in education and STEM subjects.

This work is based around a visit and events programme, because the museum is an incredible asset. We primarily try to get people in and show them everything on public display and behind the scenes, in the Tank Room, for example.

How do you measure the success of this work?
We’ve just completed a big piece of perceptions research as a baseline for public and stakeholder audience groups. It looks at where are we now, what do they think of us and what do they understand of our remit and key messaging? We’ll then measure that again, probably not annually but every couple of years to see if it’s all going in the right direction.

In the short term, we measure the success of individual campaigns. So, for any of the big exhibitions we’ll do a joint comms and marketing report and how well it’s performed with message cut through. It’s not just the profile and the reach but finding out if we landed the fundamental messages that we wanted to get across with that.

With digital and social now in the mix, you’ve got bits of the picture that are easier to measure, and the commercial parts of the business are easier to prove and link together online. Obviously that’s attractive to people who want to see hard numbers and measure things in a certain way, but that can make it even harder to get across the value of things that are difficult to measure. For example, someone may not have taken immediate action seeing one of our scientists on the News at Ten but we know that’s important, it reminds people that we’re here and it has an impact on visitation but we can’t prove that unless we interrogated everyone as they came through the door.

It sounds like there’s lots of considerations when proving ROI?
Just after a year after I started, we relaunched Hintze Hall with our iconic whale skeleton and hundreds of new exhibits in a spectacular transformed space – it was incredible. We got amazing results in terms of the profile and messaging around that, the media team did a brilliant job, but we can’t put that success or an increase in visitors just down to the media team because people have been working for years to bring the project to life.

On the other hand, sometimes you can see direct cause and effect – we had a Darwin play at the museum and our director of engagement went on BBC Breakfast to talk about it and we could see the ticket sales spike dramatically.

A typical consideration in comms is the competition and here you’re surrounded by other museums. Do you see them as competition?
I’m sure in some ways we’re competing with each other, but we work really closely with the museums and cultural institutions in the area. We recently had the Great Exhibition Road Festival, which brought together 22 institutions in Kensington to mark the anniversary of the Great Exhibition of 1851. We’re in a cultural quarter and there’s a lot of great collaboration between the museums, particularly in attracting international visitors to get them to the area.

Museums in general aren’t competitive in the way other commercial businesses are – there’s a feeling we’re part of a national culture. All the national museums are funded by DCMS and there’s an expectation we work together for the public benefit and across the UK.

But obviously when the annual visitor numbers come out, we want to be near the top…


5 PR tips from Bloggers

At Vuelio we talk to bloggers, vloggers and Instagrammers all the time about how they work, what best practice looks like and the advice they have for PRs. From men’s fashion to green content, we’ve hand-picked five of the best tips to help you get ahead in influencer marketing.

1. Build relationships
Grey Fox’s David Evans wants to use brand relationships to show his audience that new clothes aren’t just for 20-year-olds. With any blogger, long-term relationships are more likely to yield positive results as their audience will see a true collaboration and trust that their influencer believes in your brand, rather than seeing it as a one-off promotion.

2. Start conversations as early as possible
This advice comes from Andrew and Emily of Along Dusty Roads, who have to plan their trips months in advance. While not everyone needs such a lengthy lead time, the longer you can give bloggers, the more likely they’ll be able to say yes to a collaboration and then focus on creating compelling and relevant content.

3. Don’t just include or invite us because you feel you have to, include us because you want to
This tip comes from Kate Everall, one half of LesBeMums. Inclusion and diversity should be built in to all campaigns because it’s more engaging, not because it makes you look good (or even worse, doesn’t make you look bad). More diverse campaigns can reach more diverse audiences and lead to greater success.

4. Treat us as creative partners rather than blank advertising hoardings
Slouching Towards Thatcham’s Tim Liew advocates creative collaborations that can produce results again and again. No matter what the medium or channel, influencers are successful because they’ve built their own audience with their own unique creativity and voice. Only those that don’t understand the true value of influencer marketing would ignore that.

5. Treat bloggers as real human beings
This tip is from Jeremy Williams of The Earthbound Report, but it’s one we hear again and again. Make sure you take some time to learn about the blogger or influencer you’re pitching to, ensure their content is a good fit for your campaign and then contact them in a personal, and personalised, manner. One of the biggest complaints we get is bloggers being emailed without their name or with the name of their blog, which inevitably leads to poor engagement and no collaboration.

Vuelio is proud to celebrate influence in all its forms at this year’s Online Influence Awards. Find out how you get involved here. 

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Political Updates 5th August 2019

This week’s Political Updates covers moves and changes at all levels of government. 
UK Government 
Baroness Vere of Norbiton has been appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, responsible for responsible for roads, buses, taxis, freight and transport security.

Diana Barran was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary for Civil Society and Lords Minister for the Deportment of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Baroness Stedman-Scot of Rolvenden OBE LD was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist has been appointed Baroness in Waiting (Government Whip).

Lord Bethell of Romford was appointed Lord in Waiting (Government Whip).

Bruce McKirdy has announced his retirement and will stand down as Managing Director of Radioactive Waste Management in the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy in March 2020.

Sue Scane has joined the Civil Nuclear Police Authority in the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy as an independent member.

Tom McCormack has been named as Chief Executive of the Marine Management Organisation in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He will begin this position in September 2019.

Mark Russell has been named as the Chair of the Defence Equipment and Support in the Ministry of Defence. He will begin this position in November 2019.




Welsh Government
Dr Madeleine Havard, Gwynn Angell Jones and Sarah Hoss have all been appointed to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Edward Evans and Ian Rowat have been re-appointed to the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.

House of Commons
Craig Tracy MP has been appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Andrea Leadsom, the Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Alex Burghart MP was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Prime Minister Boris Jonson.

James Heappey MP has been appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Prime Minister Boris Jonson.

Jane Dodds has been elected as the new MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, she will be sworn into this position in September 2019.

House of Lords
Lord Faulks has left the Conservative Party and is now a non-affiliated member of the House of Lords. He has been appointed Chair of the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

 Scottish Parliament
Sarah Boyack has been elected as the Labour MSP for Lothian.

Political Parties
Scottish Green Party
Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie have been elected as Co-Leaders of the Scottish Green Party.

Tin Box Traveller

Family Travel Spotlight: Claire Hall, Tin Box Traveller

Claire Hall is the author of Tin Box Traveller, a top 10 family travel blog. Covering family adventures both at home and abroad, Claire writes about tips and tricks to keep both young and old(er) happy on holiday. We spoke to Claire the mechanics of her blog, the joys of holidaying in the UK and how she likes to measure the success of campaigns with PRs and brands over long periods of time.

How do you describe what you do to other people?
Ha! This is always an interesting one. I tell people I’m a writer because ‘blogger’ either draws blank looks or smirks (sad but true).

But actually, I’ve always been a writer. I started my career in journalism. I’m now a blogger, video-maker, freelance writer and social media manager. My background in writing is the foundation for everything I do today, which amounts to a career I love.

How do different social channels feed into your blog?
I am on all the big social media channels and try to use each of them daily. Facebook and Pinterest are the ones that generate the most traffic to my blog but they don’t necessarily take the most work to manage.

Instagram is where I spend most of my time. However, I have a love-hate relationship with it. It’s like a mini-blog for me. I see very little traffic coming from Instagram to Tin Box Traveller when compared to Facebook or Pinterest, but I enjoy writing for it and curating my images. Maybe that will change if I go over the golden 10k follower threshold.

It will be interesting to see how the visibility of likes on Instagram changes this platform in the year ahead.

How easy is it to get into family travel? Did you have any major concerns?
It’s simple really. If you want to travel with your kids, do it. Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. We took our first trip with our eldest when she was six weeks old and haven’t looked back.

As long as you plan for things to be a bit different to your pre-kid travels, give yourselves plenty of time, and research the places that you are staying, it can be done. There are so many great family travel blogs now – if you have a question, tap it into Google and the answer will be there.

What’s the best family destination in the world?
We love holidaying in the UK. Cornwall is an amazing destination for families. The beaches, family attractions and scope for outdoor activities are endless.

However, if you are looking for somewhere abroad, I’m a big fan of Italy. The Italian Lakes have so much for families to do. And if you enjoy a city break then Tuscany has plenty to choose from and two easily accessible airports from the UK: Pisa and Florence.

What are your top tips for long distance travel with young children?
We haven’t flown long haul with the kids yet, but we have done plenty of long road trips. My top tip for car journeys is to break the trip up with regular stops so that you can all get a break. I took my girls on a few solo road trips last year and we would have all been totally frazzled without pit stops and overnight breaks.

How restrictive are term times for the perfect family travel experience?
I know they are a major issue for lots of families. We have the extra restriction of my husband being in the armed forces and did take the girls out of school for three days last academic year. My husband was deployed over Christmas and New Year, so the Armed Forces Covenant allowed us to get some family time back when his next leave period didn’t synchronise with the school holidays.

Do you accept press releases?
I receive lots of press releases but rarely use them. Some might spark an idea and there are some seasonal events that I want to know about. However, press releases about research rarely capture my attention.

What are the best collaborations you’ve worked on?
This year I’ve worked on some great collaborations with brands that have really got to know Tin Box Traveller before they’ve approached me. Bailey of Bristol, who manufacture touring caravans, asked me to work with them on promoting caravan holidays to my audience.

This is a brilliant brand match for me as I started out as caravan blogger. Since then Tin Box Traveller has evolved to cover all kinds of family travel, but this collaboration made me feel like I had come full circle with the blog. We still love caravan holidays so it’s been great to share this with followers who may not have been with us from the start.

I’ve also worked with Parkdean Resorts and Al Fresco Holidays on campaigns and holiday reviews over several years. It’s great to track the success of these long-term relationships.

What advice would you give to PRs looking to get in touch?
Have a read of my blog and take a look at my social media channels. If our audiences have similar interests then let’s chat.

What other blogs do you read?
I read so many other family travel blogs. The adventures of Mini Travellers, Mummytravels, My Travel Monkey and Travelynn Family always inspire me.

OI Awards FAQ header

Everything you need to know about The Online Influence Awards 2019

The Vuelio Blog Awards are changing, welcome to The Online Influence Awards.

We’ve unveiled our new look event to recognise the transformed role that influencers from bloggers, vloggers to podcasters and instagrammers have in the public debate. Our awards night will be the only UK event to celebrate the very best in online influence, insight and intelligence.

On Friday 22 November, join us at The Bloomsbury Ballroom for an exclusive awards evening of glitz and glamour.

Why have you changed the name?

We created the Vuelio Blog Awards back in 2015 to celebrate the best in the blogosphere but, we recognised that we needed to evolve as the world of online influence has transformed. This year, we’re unveiling a new look event and awards programme designed to become the UK’s first awards celebrating the very best in online influence from across bloggers, vloggers, instagrammers, podcasters together with campaigners from agencies and in-house teams.

How do I enter the awards?

The Online Influence Awards includes 25 categories that are divided between subject (such as Current Affairs, Fashion or Education) and ‘Best of the Best’ (such as Best Newcomer, Best Campaign). The category awards are shortlisted based on the Vuelio industry ranking methodology with winners selected by our Judging Panel (to be announced). They cannot be entered and this handy blog post gives more detail on how our methodology works. We do though encourage you to enter the ‘Best of the Best’ categories which will be open from August 2019. A shortlist will be produced from nominations then winner chosen by our Judging Panel.

Who will be on the judging panel?

Our Judging Panel will be made up of leading influencers, industry experts and agency leaders. The judging day will take place in October 2019 to identify our winners by each category.

When will the finalists be announced?

The shortlisted finalists will be announced from mid-September and shared on our website, social channels. We will also contact each person shortlisted. To make sure you are in the know, sign up to our newsletters here or follow @Vuelio on Twitter and Instagram.

How do I buy tickets to the Online Influence Awards?

Tickets for The Online Influence Awards are currently on sale at our Super Early Bird Price. We recommend booking your tickets soon. Prices will increase after 1 September 2019.

I run a blog/vlog/Instagram/podcast but it’s not covered by any of the categories?

We’ve designed the Online Influence Awards to cover the most popular subjects covered by bloggers, vloggers, Instagrammers and podcasters but unfortunately, we can’t have a category for them all. If your subject isn’t covered by one of our awards, we recommend you enter for one of our ‘Best of the Best’ categories. We also review the award categories each year and if you’d like to suggest a category for next year, we’d love to hear from you.

Still got a question about The Online Influence Awards? No problem, email Rebecca Potts and she’ll be able to help with your query!

Cathy Winston 2019

Family travel spotlight: Cathy Winston, MummyTravels

MummyTravels has once again been named in the top 10 UK family travel blogs. Written by Cathy Winston, MummyTravels is full of tips for travelling with little ones as well as insight into single parent travel and exploring new countries around the world. We spoke to Cathy to find out how she got into family travel, the community of bloggers around her and the best campaigns she’s worked on.

How do you describe what you do to other people?
I usually call myself a travel writer – I’m a professional journalist as well as blogger so that covers both, but I’d say blogger rather than influencer or content creator.

How do different social channels feed into your blog?
I tend to think of each one as an extension of the blog in some way – Facebook is where I go to chat to fellow travel-loving parents and for day-to-day updates about trips. Instagram is all about the photos (although I enjoy the immediacy of Stories as much as the grid shots… and can have a little more control over whose accounts I see!).

As Twitter is so fast-moving, I don’t often have time to keep up with all the conversations, so it’s more about sharing links and live content on trips, as well as Twitter chats – I’m one of the co-hosts of #familytravelhour with Lonely Planet Kids.

I also have a podcast, Kidventures, which I co-host with my friend and fellow family travel blogger Ting from My Travel Monkey and videos on YouTube which have more standalone content but also complement the blog posts.

How easy is it to get into family travel? Did you have any major concerns?
The fact that everyone told me I couldn’t travel with a baby was what inspired the blog in the first place, and I hope that people reading it will be inspired to see that’s not true at all, there’s really nothing to stop families travelling if they want to. When I started the blog, it was more of a creative outlet for me and an attempt to answer the question of whether I could keep travelling, so I don’t think I could ever have foreseen quite how much it would grow over the years.

There are always challenges to travelling with children, including the practical ones when you have a baby and a toddler – I also often travel solo with my daughter, so I’m very aware I’m the only adult on hand a lot of the time. Safety is still the main concern, I’m much less inclined to take risks when I travel with her, but the more you travel, the more you realise that a lot of the concerns (enduring long-haul flights, jetlag, what food they’ll eat) are always things you can deal with and work around.

What’s the best family destination in the world?
I’m not sure I can choose just one! It would need to have sunshine, a beach and a pool (for both of us!) but also plenty to explore and discover, whether it’s historic buildings and temples or getting to discover another culture and way of life. But we’ve found that in South East Asia, Caribbean islands, Greece and the UK – even if the sun is a little less guaranteed at home.

What are your top tips for long distance travel with young children?
Plenty of snacks and plenty of entertainment. Audio books have worked really well for us, especially when my daughter can’t watch something on a screen (or I don’t want her too), but with short attention spans, more really is more – I’d rather carry a dozen things to occupy her for a short time and keep rotating them than rely on one or two ways to entertain her.

I also try to have a back-up plan for most eventualities (places to stop, extra food for planes, spare clothes, portable powerbank) but then go with the flow as much as possible.

How restrictive are term times for the perfect family travel experience?
There’s no question they are restrictive – not least because prices do rise in school holidays, sometimes dramatically. Some destinations are best visited at a time of year which always falls during term time too, or are simply so far away that it’s difficult to visit outside the longer summer holidays.

But having said that, you can still still make the most of each holiday: school needn’t mean you can’t see the world. Visiting destinations outside their peak season can also work well in holiday time – we went to Cambodia one summer, for example, when it’s quieter and slightly cheaper for green season, rather than the more popular European beach destinations.

Do you accept press releases?
Yes, although I’d rarely write anything based solely on a press release unless it was a sponsored post for example.

What are the best collaborations you’ve worked on?
The best collaborations tend to be the ones where both sides are clear on the deliverables and any deadlines in advance, but happy to allow some creative freedom and for me to suggest what will perform best on the blog. The results have to work well for both brand and blogger but being too prescriptive doesn’t always produce the best outcome.

Some great recent ones which stick in my mind were a collaboration with Hyundai, where I could design my own road trip and got to showcase the car as well as having some great content to write about. Similarly, with Ikos Resorts in Corfu, our stay included the chance to explore the island (as for all guests) as well as the hotel facilities, while returning to Stoke-on-Trent where I grew up let me share some experiences I remember from my childhood as well as discovering somewhere new.

It’s also wonderful to be able to give my daughter opportunities through the blog – our trip to Lapland last December is one of the most memorable for her sheer excitement at seeing snow, huskies and Santa.

I’m also part of a blogging collective, the Family Travel Collective, with four other award-winning family travel bloggers – Ting from My Travel Monkey, Nichola from Globalmouse Travels, Kirstie from The Family Adventure Project and Gretta from Mums Do Travel – working on campaigns together. From a personal point of view, it’s great working with four creative, inspiring bloggers who love travelling with kids as much as I do, and for brands, it means they get a much greater reach than any one of us could produce alone, as well as a cohesive campaign across multiple blogs for added impact.

What advice would you give to PRs looking to get in touch?
Please take the time to look at the blog first. I’m always open to suggestions and ideas, but if there isn’t a strong family travel angle, it’s unlikely to work. And for the same reasons, anything aimed firmly at toddlers or teens won’t suit my seven-year-old. As a rule, my daughter will usually travel with me on trips for blog coverage, which also normally means school holiday dates.

It’s great if people can be explicit about whether they’re contacting me for the blog too. There’s often overlap with my freelance journalism but it saves having a conversation to discover where you’re looking for coverage to appear. I’ve got to the stage of discussing itineraries only to discover PRs are hoping I might also be able to pitch the story to additional outlets. And while that’s not an impossibility, it’s easiest to have the conversation at the start rather than holding dates during our limited travel time and it then falling through.

What other blogs do you read?
Mostly other UK family travel blogs – too many to name but I expect most or all of Vuelio’s Top 10 list! Suitcases and Sandcastles always has beautiful photos and tells wonderful stories, while the adventures of Travelynn Family are truly inspiring.

As more blogs focus on SEO (myself included), I love stumbling across anything that really transports me to a destination or gets me thinking about life though. There’s nothing like great writing, whatever the subject.

Brian Palmer 2019

Cycling blog spotlight: Brian Palmer, thewashingmachinepost

Brian Palmer is the author of thewashingmachinepost, a top 10 cycling blog. Covering reviews of cycling gear and equipment, as well as ride routes in Scotland and the Hebrides, Brian’s blog has a loyal following of cycling enthusiasts. We caught up with Brian to find out about the best bicycles, his favourite collaborations and the fear that stops him reading other blogs.

How do you describe what you do to other people?
I write incessantly about road bike culture, hopefully with a soupçon of humour along the way.

How did you discover your love of cycling?
I don’t like driving, so I’ve always ridden my bike to get about, even in atrocious Scottish weather, and it keeps me fit.

What’s the best bike you’ve ever ridden?
It almost seems unfair to single one out, so I’ll mention my Specialized CruX cross bike and my Campagnolo equipped Ritchey Logic. Mind you, the Basso Diamante I’m reviewing at present looks very promising.

What’s the best cycle route in the world?
Anywhere on Islay, but I did enjoy Hot Chillee’s annual ‘London-Paris’ ride.

What will be the next big thing in cycling?
Honestly I dread to think as a confirmed luddite. I’d be quite content if they simply left things alone.

What’s the cycling blogging community like to be a part of?
To be honest I really don’t know. I’m too scared to read other blogs in case they’re much better than mine!

Do you accept press releases?
Yes. Always. But they’re only the starting point. I always rewrite everything in what little style I might have. I never just publish the original.

What are the best campaigns you’ve collaborated on?
I did some work with Daniel Pasley in Portland in the very early days of the North American ‘Rapha Continental’. That was fun.

What advice would you give to PRs/brands reaching out to you?
Please don’t offer me pre-written content. I write thewashingmachinepost because I enjoy writing, so I’m never going to use somebody else’s work.

Fiona Harris

Relevance International appoints Fiona Harris as UK managing director

Fiona Harris has been appointed managing director of Relevance International’s UK office. Harris is an experienced and trusted leader in brand strategy, marketing and public relations, who in 2018 was named one of London’s most influential people by Evening Standard and was previously cited in PR Week’s Power Book as one of the UK’s leading communications experts.

Harris has nearly 30 years of public relations and marketing experience and previously headed the VIP relations department for Selfridges, where she helped define strategy around attracting and retaining the international ultra high-net-worth customer.

Prior to this, Harris held a number of senior strategic roles at luxury hotel group Corinthia Hotels, Kuoni Travel and Condé Nast Publishing. She also co-founded her own successful travel and lifestyle agency, Bacall Harris Associates.

At Relevance, Harris will be responsible for the day-to-day strategy and execution of public relations services in Relevance’s London office, which opened in 2017 to coincide with Relevance New York’s rebrand to become Relevance International.

The London office includes a roster of luxury, property and corporate clients such as Quintessentially Estates, Concierge Auctions, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, The Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences in Dubai, H8 Collection in France and The World’s 50 Best Restaurants among many others.

Suzanne Rosnowski, CEO and founder of Relevance International, said: ‘Relevance’s London office has grown strong over the past year and a half and I can’t wait to see where it soars to with Fiona now at the helm. Her extensive background in the luxury, hospitality and lifestyle spaces is perfectly aligned with Relevance’s areas of focus. She is connected, seasoned, creative and savvy, and we are so very happy to welcome her to the team.’

Harris said: ‘Working with a myriad of luxury brands and businesses that have taken me around the world, I’m confident in my ability to take Relevance’s London office to the next level. I resonate heavily with the company’s long-term global vision and am proud to be a part of such a premier, international agency.’

Relevance International was founded by Rosnowski in 2012 in New York City, and has now grown to become a leading global agency, with a network of affiliates to support its worldwide client roster. The London office was this year a finalist for PRWeek Global Awards.

Whittlebury Park

Whittlebury Park
Whittlebury Park is an independently owned hotel and spa estate in Northamptonshire. It has an award-winning Spa, a fine dining restaurant with two AA Rosettes and a championship golf course.

The PR and marketing department use Vuelio to create and distribute press releases, monitor press coverage and produce coverage reports for the senior management team.

We spoke to Chantelle Joysury, Senior PR & Marketing Executive at Whittlebury Park about how Vuelio has helped them achieve their goals. 

How Whittlebury Park uses Vuelio
It was important for us to use an all-inclusive service in which we had a consistent account manager and the ability to have demos with them before we committed, and then subsequent training when we began using the system. It’s been great to be able to have everything we need in one place. We can choose how we set up our contact groups and what metrics we report on. Sometimes our press releases need to go out to quite specific contacts but the search functionality on Vuelio is very user-friendly and so this has been really easy to navigate.

The print clips are displayed nicely and the reports can be easily downloaded into Word or Excel formats that look presentable and require no editing apart from additional commentary, if needed.

The Vuelio experience
Since initial enquiry, Sophie has taken time to understand our needs and what she feels we should be using within the system. The screenshares were really helpful when first using the system, and we also met in person at our hotel, which was great as we could explore the system in detail and ask questions easily in person. We’re not a huge organisation but we have not felt at any point that we are less important than bigger accounts; the level of care we receive has been consistent throughout.

The easy access to our reports has been a highlight since using the system. They are clear and easy to read, and setting up saved searches means that each month’s coverage can be easily collated and then reports can be generated very quickly.

Benefits and Results
Having a ready-made database of contacts that we can really drill down into has been great. Previously, finding relevant media contacts took time to research and collate but Vuelio makes it easy. Creating a distribution list can take as little as 10-15 minutes, if that.

Political Updates 12th August 2019

This week’s Political Updates covers moves and changes at all levels of government. 
UK Government 
Dr Alan Gogbashian has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia, taking up his appointment during September 2019.

Mr Chris Welch has been appointed as a Board Member of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).

Mr Christopher Andrew Crawford Simpson has been appointed as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Banffshire.

Ian Diamond has been appointed as UK’s National Statistician.

Regina Finn has been appointed Chair of Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) and Electricity Settlements Company (ESC).

Liz Sayce OBE is being appointed interim chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC).

Mrs Patricia Ann Sawers has been appointed as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Angus.

Mr Rodney Adams has been appointed as the new Deputy Commissioner of Police for the Turks & Caicos Islands.

Lynn Lawrence and Martin Post have been appointed as members of the School Teachers’ Review Body.

Political Parties


Richard Braine has been elected as leader of the UK Independence Party (more info).

  Scottish Labour Party
General Secretary Brian Roy, the most senior official in the Scottish Labour party has stepped down (more info).


Jo Swinson: the new Liberal Democrat Leader

The Vuelio political team have put together an in-depth profile of the new leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson.
Please click the link below to read profile of the new Liberal Democrats leader.
Click here to download our profile of Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson is listed alongside thousands of other political contacts on the Vuelio Political Database.

Political Updates 22nd July 2019

This week’s Political Updates covers moves and changes at all levels of government. 
UK Government 
The Rt Hon Lord (Larry) Whitty and the Rt Hon Lord (Eric) Pickles have been appointed to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (more info).

Mrs Justice Carr has been appointed as a Lady Justice of Appeal and Mr Justice Arnold, Mr Justice Dingemans, Mr Justice Phillips and Mr Justice Popplewell have been appointed as Lord Justices of Appeal (more info)

Dame Kate Barker, Kru Desai, Edwina Dunn and Steve Unger have been appointed to the Geospatial Commission.

Janis Mumford, Head of Integrated Services at Health Education England (HEE), has been appointed to chair East of England Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee.

Sir Jonathan Thompson is to step down as Chief Executive of HM Revenue and Customs, to take on a new role as Chief Executive of the Financial Reporting Council (more info).

Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, has resigned from the Government.

Sir Alan Duncan, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, has resigned from the Government.

House of Commons
Gloria de Piero MP has resigned as the Shadow Justice Minister and has decided not to stand at the next general election.

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP has announced that she will not be standing as a Labour candidate in the next election.

House of Lords
Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town has been sacked from the Shadow frontbench for making negative remarks about Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party.


National Assembly for Wales
Arwyn Jones has been appointed as the new Director of Communications and Engagement at the National Assembly for Wales.

Political parties


Liberal Democrats
Later today, either Jo Swinson MP or Sir Ed Davey MP will be announced as the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.



European Parliament

Ursula von der Leyen has been elected as European Commission President. She is set to take office on 1 November 2019 (more info).