Grahame Morris departs WPP political relations firm following election

Mumbrella understands political advisor at WPP government relations firm Barton Deakin, Grahame Morris parted ways with the company after internal disputes were reported in relation to his comments regarding trans people in the lead-up to the federal election.

An initial report in April stated that Morris was under pressure at WPP, with his position under review after making comments regarding the trans community on ABC News, and The Project on Network Ten. A follow-up report quoted an internal email that stated that Barton Deakin’s views “did not align” with those of Morris, despite no further action taken at the time.

Morris speaking on The Project in April

WPP also provided the following statement to Mumbrella in May: “We do not agree with Mr. Morris’s views.” Barton Deakin was again contacted for comment last week, with no response at the time of publishing.

WPP declined to comment in advance of this story being published.

Mumbrella understands Morris departed the firm almost immediately after the federal election, which resulted in a change of government.

Barton Deakin provides strategic political and public policy advice to clients that engage with Coalition governments and oppositions at state and federal level politics.

A dispute between Barton Deakin and Hawker Britton, the Labor-leaning government relations firm also within WPP arose after the initial comments made by Morris. Senior figures within WPP, and the Ogilvy Network domestically were also reported to have voiced displeasure following the comments.

Mumbrella was made aware of internal emails between both WPP-owned political advisory firms, Barton Deakin and Hawker Britton, in which a representative from the former said the Labor-aligned firm “no longer wanted to be associated with the former” while Morris remained its employee.


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