As if the murky world of espionage had not already obscured the story of the death of Alexander Litvinenko enough, it now seems that powerful PR forces have been at work too.
The Guardian reported today that a company run by Lord Bell of Belgravia, who as Tim Bell was behind the advertising campaigns which helped the Tories to power in 1972, distributed the pictures of Mr Litvinenko in hospital and handled media enquiries.
Lord Bell’s Bell Pottinger Communications clients include Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch, who was a friend and employer of Mr Litvinenko.
The Evening Standard’s This is London website added that Moscow has also employed a powerful PR consultancy, to counter claims from Berzovsky. It reports: “The Russian government has signed a multi-million pound contract with the American PR firm, Ketchum. They are using two heavyweights in London: Tim Allen, a former Downing Street spin doctor, and Angus Roxburgh, a former BBC correspondent in Moscow.”