Hugh Colver – Defense and Government Public Affairs
Hugh Colver advises companies on how to work with Government, Parliament and the Media primarily in the context of business campaigns in the defense sector.
A specialist in issues and crisis management, operational public affairs, media relations and contingency planning, Hugh served in the UK Ministry of Defence from 1975 and went to 10 Downing Street in 1981 and advised Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during the Falklands Conflict. In 1984 he became Deputy Director of Information at Scotland Yard and an adviser to Sir Kenneth Newman, and in 1985 returned to the MoD as Deputy Chief of Public Relations.
Hugh became Chief of Public Relations at the Ministry of Defence in 1987. As well as being the department’s chief spokesman and Press Secretary to successive Secretaries of State, he was involved in National and NATO contingency planning for war and conflict, particularly in the context of public presentation and media issues. He put these plans into effect for the Gulf War of 1991 and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Gulf War Honours List of 1992. Hugh has extensive operational experience including Cod War (1976), Belize (1978), Bermuda (1979), Falklands (1982), siege of the Libyan People’s Bureau in London (1984) and the Gulf War (1991).
In 1992, he became Director of Public Affairs for British Aerospace Defence responsible for communications and relations with Government, Parliament and media.
In 1995, he became Director of Communications for the Conservative Party and acted as Press Secretary to Prime Minister John Major when he was on Party business, after which he became an independent public affairs adviser and appeared on most television and radio channels as a commentator on political and government affairs.
During this period, Hugh specialized in helping companies win defense contracts. Notable campaigns included the Army Field Ambulance and Truck Utility Light and Truck Utility Medium for Land Rover, and Eurofighter, Replacement Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Future Large Aircraft (A400M), Attack Helicopter, Airborne Stand-Off Radar and Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile for BAE.
After the British Aerospace/Marconi Electronic Systems merger in 2000 Hugh became Group Communications Director for BAE SYSTEMS responsible for corporate communications and a member of the Group Executive. In this role he was responsible for developing the image and brand of the newly merged entity, initiating a number of positioning campaigns as the company presented a new face to the world. In this role, he was the company’s principal interface with the news media at the corporate level, managed the communications function across the company and was responsible for issues management.