Never let the facts get in the way of a good story – (David Benady’s “Millennium Hiring Sparks Political Row” MW February 21) – particularly when you can sensationalise instead.
The so-called “Muirhead Affair” does not justify Mr Benady’s feverish billing – nor does your wildly over-the-top editorial’s bizarre comparison of 18th-century nepotism and the work of a 20th-century public body supervised by a government minister and scrutinised by parliament fit the facts, which are as follows:
Millennium Central has not entered into contracts with any staff or consultants. Until February 13 this year it was a shelf company.
All earlier work undertaken on the project has either been contracted to the Millennium Commission direct, to other companies contracted to the Commission, or has been provided on a pro bono basis.
Over the last few months MCL, the notional operating company, has worked with a number of companies to develop the financial and creative case for the exhibition and sought expert advice from a number of firms which have been contracted to the project.
With specific regards to Bill Muirhead’s position:
He has no formal contract with Millennium Central. He has, however, had discussions with me regarding future communication strategy.
He remains a partner in M&C Saatchi and will retain his responsibilities with clients for that firm. Any work he will do for MCL in the next few months will be on a time-limited consultancy basis.
His unpaid involvement to date has been limited to helping with the urgent tasks of building a new communications team and restating the core concepts of the projects.
There is nothing underhand about the way we have and will continue to bring the very best people on board the millennium project – as your magazine has insinuated. Rather, we will continue to let contracts on the basis of the public sector control documents for the company.