James Ashton: How UKTI left the press hacked off

  • @mrjamesashton

Plenty of businesses speak well of UK Trade & Investment, the Government's export arm that tries to help firms carve out revenues from new overseas markets.

Its series of conferences to drum up business has had a lot of attention too. This week, it covered off the creative industries sector in an event with heavyweight speakers including Sony chairman Sir Howard Stringer extolling the virtues of Britain as a place to do business.

Alas, the press, who were cheerfully invited to witness this coming-together of British brains with foreign financial brawn, were penned in a back room as if freedom of movement was a relatively recent innovation.

The hacks were restricted to a room with only rolling videos of Freddie Flintoff and Jessie J, a Vivienne Westwood tartan bag and a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover (cover designed by Sir Paul Smith) for company. Best of luck to UKTI's boss Nick Baird. What is it they say to Olympic athletes venturing abroad? Best to get the home fans on side before you go.