Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Levitt denies rumours he is to be a paid adviser to Nestlé

Tom Levitt today published a press release on his website* about rumours he is to become a paid adviser to Nestlé after he stands down at the General Election.

This denial follows the publication of the following story in the latest edition of satirical magazine Private Eye last week:

Tom Levitt, Labour MP for High Peak, is standing down at the next election - no doubt to the relief of colleagues who were often bemused by his defence of Nestlé, the food giant frequently attacked for its baby milk marketing practices.

Levitt even went on a Nestlé-funded trip to South Africa, returning full of praise for his hosts and even quoting Nestle's own PR on his blog to refute activists' charges.

Announcing his decision not to stand for re-election, Levitt said: "I would like to spend more time with my wife, our children and grandchildren. I would also like to do something different in the work environment." How fortunate that one of the roles that will help the transition to his "new work environment" will be... as a paid adviser to Nestlé!
Levitt has responded as follows:
"Over the years I have been a guest of Nestlé at Wimbledon, at a cricket test match and on a visit to South Africa in 2008 to look at Corporate Social Responsibility, all properly recorded in the Register of Members' Interests. Nestlé is the owner of Buxton Water, an important local employer and an iconic brand of the High Peak area. It is right for the MP to have close relations with important local companies.

"I have no firm plans yet for what I shall be doing in the work environment after the election - though I have some irons in the fire - but the post of "paid advisor to Nestlé" is news to me.

"I am not aware of any MP colleague who has been "bemused" in the way the story suggests. The "practices" to which the story refers took place 30 to 40 years ago and I now believe that Nestlé is amongst the most ethical of traders in this field."

Which sounds to us like a lovely little bit of PR for Nestlé. For further details and background of this story, please visit our new blog - Levitt Watch!

*when this link no longer works, you can view a screen grab here.

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