A massive public relations effort is underway in Hong Kong, with the Chinese Communist Party’s puppet leader Carrie Lam recently tossing a $7m contract to ‘Consulum’ – a firm staffed by former, senior British civil servants as well as advisors to the Prime Minister, The National Pulse can exclusively reveal.
Consulum – a 7-year-old PR consultancy firm – was recently awarded the £5.6m ($7m) contract for “Relaunch Hong Kong.” The move comes as the Chinese Communist Party launched a brutal crackdown in the region, despite historic efforts by the British government to avoid an authoritarian crackdown.
The National Pulse can reveal several staffers at Consulum’s offices around the world have previously worked in senior positions in the British government, for Britain’s Conservative Party, Britain’s Labour Party, the Tony Blair associates organization, and the firm itself has represented Saudi Arabian leaders and hosted conferences featuring Microsoft Founder Bill Gates.
Most striking perhaps is the employment of Fiona Bartosh, who led the UK government’s failed “anti-fake news” information unit under Prime Ministers David Cameron and Theresa May.
Bartosh was a regular speaker and public face of the UK government and the Prime Minister’s office, appearing at NATO-led summits. Bartosh has also worked as a publicist for the publicly funded British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
Another Consulum employee is Ranulph Murray, a Conservative Party activist who worked as a Campaign Manager for the governing Conservative Party.
Murray – who counts a number of high profile Members of Parliament and government ministers amongst his social media friends – also briefly served as Senior Parliamentary Assistant to Paul Scully MP.
Scully holds prestigious positions in Britain’s government, such as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets, and Minister for London.
Another Consulum staffer – “Oliver V” – attempts to hide his second name on social media. The National Pulse can reveal this CCP-stooge’s full name is Oliver Viles, who in addition to working for a Labour Party Member of the European Parliament, worked as a Parliamentary Assistant for British MP Rachel Reeves.
Viles also appears to be a supporter of Barack Obama, and tweeted in support of domestic violence: “#BestWaytoGetRidOfAGirl push em down the stairs”.
Consulum’s Senior Director in Strategic Communications, John Slinger, is a former consultant with Tony Blair Associates – the strategic advisory firm set up by the former British prime minister.
Gregor Poynton, a partner at Consulum, worked as Director of External Engagement for Britain’s Labour Party under socialist leader Ed Miliband.
Jolyon Welsh, a senior director at the firm, was previously the Head of Government to Government Contracting for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Britain’s equivalent of the State Department.
Prior to this senior position, Welsh served over a decade as a career diplomat for the United Kingdom.
Another Consulum director, Roger Baker, spent seven years with Britain’s Labour Party working as the Director of Communications, as well as the National Head of Press and Broadcasting.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed in 2018:
Consulum has been working on MBS’s projects since at least 2016. The firm, whose London headquarters are in Berkeley Square, was set up in 2013 by former Bell Pottinger staff members, Tim Ryan and Matthew Gunther Bushell. It also has offices in Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE.
Consulum describes itself on its website as providing “sophisticated communications programmes that shape awareness, guide opinion and enhance understanding”. Industry insiders say the firm is known as being professional and has none of the reputation for risk-taking that affected Bell Pottinger.
But like Bell Pottinger, Consulum has attracted attention for the profile of its clients. The firm was criticised after it emerged in 2013 that it was working for the authoritarian government of Bahrain. Consulum’s other clients include the governments of Djibouti and the UAE. It is not clear how many contracts the firm has in Saudi Arabia, but it is evident from press releases that it is working for MBS’s charity, the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Foundation or MiSK.
The report goes on to detail the involvement of Microsoft founder Bill Gates in the MiSK event, as represented by Consulum.
In recent days, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has slammed the new crackdown by China, calling it a “clear and serious violation” of the 1997 handover treaty between China and the UK.
He said: “It constitutes a clear violation of the autonomy of Hong Kong, and a direct threat to the freedoms of its people and therefore I’m afraid to say it is a clear and serious violation of the Joint Declaration, a treaty between the United Kingdom and China.”
The British government has not yet made clear as to whether or not it will pursue British nationals effectively working in favor of the Chinese Communist Party.