BT public affairs man

Neil Aitken has been appointed BT Group regional lead for London and the South East
Neil Aitken has been appointed BT Group regional lead for London and the South East

Neil Aitken, formerly head of communications at Pay.UK, has been appointed as BT Group’s new public affairs lead for London and the South East.

Neil started his career at HM Treasury and has worked in a variety of roles at organisations including the Food Standards Agency, Camden Council and Birkbeck College. He will lead BT Group’s relationships with policymakers across the London and South East region, including engaging with local authority representatives and business leaders.

The former Paralympian, who competed for Great Britain as a 15-year-old at the Atlanta Games in 1996 – reaching the final of the swimming 50m freestyle – took up his post in the last few weeks.
Neil’s most recent role was head of communications at Pay.UK – the UK’s leading payment authority, where he led a team covering all aspects of communications - including PR and external stakeholder engagement.
During his time at Pay.UK and its predecessors Neil worked on campaigns including the New Payments Architecture programme, which will deliver the biggest change to the UK’s payment systems since the 1960s; the launch of Paym, the UK’s mobile payments service; and the consumer education campaign, which offered consumers advice on choosing the best way to pay, and how to stay safe.
Commenting on the new role, Neil, who lives in Walthamstow, said: “I’m really looking forward to my new role with BT, at what is a very exciting time for the company.

“Our long-term plan for Britain will make London and the South East better connected and more competitive than ever, giving individuals and businesses the digital infrastructure and skills they need to grow and succeed. We’re in the midst of a number of exciting projects, including the recent rollout of EE’s 5G network in London as well as towns in the wider region. This is happening alongside improving 4G coverage in other areas. We are also investing significantly in London and the South East with improved work places of the future to benefit our staff and customers.”

As part of the Nations & Regions team, Neil is responsible for maintaining key political relationships on behalf of BT Group with MPs, elected mayors and local councilors on any matters relating to the Group’s activity in the region. He will also work closely with combined and local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, business and community organisations, to focus on the success and growth of the region’s economies.

Welcoming the appointment, Paul Coles, BT Group English regions director, said: “I look forward to working with Neil in his new role. His experience working in a highly regulated sector and managing multiple stakeholder relationships will be a huge asset in his new role.

“BT Group contributes around £10.3 billion to the London and South East economy* and plays an important role in the lives of everyone living and working in the region, from handling 999 calls, to connecting communities. I know that Neil will build on our existing relationships, helping to lead and shape the public policy debate on improved digital services in the region.”


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