Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Mark Cummings - Invicta PR latest

From The Sunday Times by Jason Allardyce August 9, 2009

Labour candidate ‘was sent sectarian messages’

Lothian and Borders police are studying offensive text messages received by Dunfermline and West Fife candidate Thomas Docherty

Police are investigating allegations that a Scottish Labour candidate was subjected to sectarian abuse by text message.

Lothian and Borders police are studying text messages received by Thomas Docherty, who will contest Dunfermline and West Fife in the general election.
The messages, which contained a lyric from the so-called Famine song, were allegedly sent from a mobile telephone number belonging to Mark Cummings, a lobbyist. His clients have included Premier Property Group, a firm owned by David Murray, the Rangers chairman.

Two weeks ago, Docherty, a Catholic, received a message repeating a line from the Famine song which has been banned at Rangers’ Ibrox ground, and which was recently ruled by Scottish law lords to be racist. The song pillories people of Irish descent whose ancestors came to Britain to escape the potato famine which began in 1845.

The message to Docherty allegedly read: “The famine is over. Why don’t you go home? FTP.” FTP is commonly used as an abbreviation for the sectarian phrase F*** The Pope.

It is alleged that when Docherty texted the sender to check whether the message was intended for him, he received the reply: “Yes, because you are one of them.”

As a Labour candidate, Docherty is campaigning against a proposed major housing development in Dunfermline which Cummings’s firm, Edinburgh-based Invicta Public Affairs, is lobbying for.

In a statement, Cummings, director of Invicta, said: “I am aware of the matter as it has been brought to my attention. I am responding properly on a voluntary basis with the relevant authorities.

“This is a private matter that relates to me in a personal capacity only. It in no way relates to any commercial relationships that I have.”

A police spokesman said: “Police are investigating after a 34-year-old male received an offensive text message of sectarian nature.”

Docherty was unavailable for comment.

Mark Cummings pictured above with former client Manish Chande of Caltongate's Mountgrange.

Here is a bit of history on this man known throughout the country for his pr for developments on the whole unwanted by communities -

In Nairn he is well known see here

He worked with PPS who were the PR Company behind Developers Mountgrange (Caltongate) also Viridor Waste at Portobello.

The company`s motto is - "Call PPS if need to undertake community consultation or if you feel your scheme may run into political or community opposition." hotlinehere

They featured in The Evening Standard in July 2007 in an article titled "Bugging, Bullying, Forgery: Property PR Tricks" EveningStandard30thjuly2007

See Dispatches Programme aired on Monday 30th July 2007 Scroll down page to find link to programme (PPS part starts at 16 minutes 50 seconds to 25 minutes 24 seconds) although all of programme worth watching!) On the 6th August 2007 another story concerning Mountgrange`s PR company PPS was published in EveningStandardaug07

In Private Eye issue no. 1192 31st August 2007 are Caltongate developers Mountgrange and their PR lobbying firm PPS to read article select your print preview and enlarge to 100% see here

"Mark Cummings the Scottish Director of PPS and Mountgrange`s spokesperson for the last two years or so left the company, 2 weeks after the Private Eye story was published in August. Now it appears he is still working for Mountgrange just under his new company name “Invicata”"

"Mark Cummings, the spin doctor who left controversial lobbying firm PPS this autumn, has landed a contract with PPS’s most high profile client in Scotland. Cummings worked on the Caltongate development account for PPS, but despite his departure was spotted at a meeting of the Caltongate Liaison Group last week. His new firm, Invicta Public Affairs, has now been taken on by Caltongate’s developer Manish Chande for what Cummings describes as “PR and public affairs, all the usual stuff”. Chande’s firm Mountgrange is expected to retain PPS’s services despite giving Invicta some work on the project." SOSarticle