Revolving Four-doors
Car Industry, Issue 1433
Nissan’s plant in Sunderland is a major employer
THERESA MAY won’t say how much support was offered to Nissan at the end of October before it committed to more manufacturing in the UK.

The Office of Budget Responsibility was refused the information and had to caveat its autumn statement forecasts accordingly, suggesting the car firm got a pretty decent deal; and Treasury select committee chair Andrew Tyrie has asked the National Audit Office to look into the matter.

An early triumph
The agreement certainly marks an early triumph for Nissan’s new “head of UK external and government affairs”, Peter Stephens, who until 11 October last year, when David Cameron was “renegotiating” Britain’s EU membership, was a deputy director in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills responsible for EU strategy.

His appointment at Nissan was approved by his department on condition that he would not draw on privileged information from within government nor “become personally involved in lobbying the UK government” on behalf of Nissan “for 1 year from his last day of service”. Strangely, this was half the more common lobbying ban of two years – and it helpfully expired two weeks before Nissan was able to announce to much fanfare that two new models would be built in Sunderland.

Particularly around influence and change
On his LinkedIn profile Stephens says his “core skill is developing strategies, particularly around influence and change - defining the desired outcomes, designing a practical strategy and then successfully delivering it”.

Doubtless he refrained from doing any of this for his new employer’s most important piece of “government affairs” until just before the deal. Not that we’ll ever find out what that was.

More top stories in the latest issue:

Why the government has to foot the £15m bill to compensate Southern season-ticket holders for poor performance.

Accounts for the Daily Mail’s publisher reveal concerns about Brexit risks – including the fact that the paper’s newsprint is sourced from the EU!

Claims that compensation for sex abuse will rob deprived communities of sports pitches ignore the FA’s other spending.

Why a Tory MP’s free ports plan will create tax havens but not jobs.

Capita’s shares fall to a ten-year low after damning criticism of its running of military bases.

Making visitors to free legal porn sites hand over credit card details or National Insurance numbers as proof of age will expose people to cyber crime.

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20th December 2016
In This Issue private eye
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Private Eye Issue 1432