NO2AV Referendum – 2011 saw the first UK wide referendum since 1975.

While nominally Communications Director, my de facto role in the referendum campaign very soon became cross-party parliamentary liaison. I conducted the negotiations to bring the Labour Party on board the official NO campaign. This was complicated by the Labour Party’s hostility towards Matthew Elliott, who was NO2AV Campaign Director and founder of the Tax Payers’ Alliance.

No to AV referendum

Terry Paul and I also ran a below the radar campaign aimed at persuading members of minority UK communities to vote NO.

The BBC alternately called the result “overwhelming” and “thumping”. 19 million people voted. The 6th of May was a fantastic day ending with a long and VERY well celebrated night! For more information about the referendum, the issues and to find out more about our cross-party campaign, have a look at our website www.no2av.org

We won big because we - you - got Labour on board. Your positive, appealing personality was crucial to those negotiations…

- Matthew Elliott, NO2AV Campaign Director

Peter has forensic political antennae.

Lord Bruce Grocott, PPS to Tony Blair 1994 – 2001, Govt Chief Whip in the House of Lords 2002 – 2008

Peter is exactly the kind of guy you want on your side. His genuine, friendly and open approach have made him a favourite amongst Labour politicians voting No to AV – quite an achievement for a Conservative Party campaigner!

Peter is the main architect of the deep co-operation between Conservatives and Labour people on the referendum’s No side, largely thanks to his shrewd understanding of people and sensitivity to the boundaries that lie between the two cultures that define mainstream British politics. I have also been impressed by the success of his work with people from a minority background. On the No campaign, as in his work on the campaign against people trafficking, Peter’s deep committment to these causes shines through in all of his dealings with everyone, both within the team and without.

He is an excellent team worker and takes the time to encourage others and make positive suggestions to maintain forward momentum. I have no hesitation in recommending him as a very creative campaigner and great fun to work with.

- The Rt Hon Jane Kennedy, National Organiser NO2AV and former Labour Government Minister:

Peter Botting is a fluent, gregarious and energetic campaigner. From my time working alongside him at the heart of a national campaign, I quickly came to appreciate his keen sense of big picture politics and strategy. A strong communicator, Peter’s work took him daily along paths spanning the political spectrum, demonstrating clear big tent skills.

- Dr Lee Rotherham

Any graduate trying to secure a training contract with the top city law firms will know the competition is tougher than ever this year. The number of applicants has soared even as contracts have become scarce. It’s not uncommon for a firm to interview 250 applicants for 50 places.

For my top-choice firm I knew I had to do something special. In the week prior to I-day, Peter gave me two telephone interviews. The first took me to pieces: it showed me all the gaps in my knowledge and the inadequacies in what I’d genuinely thought was my in-depth preparation. I had to go away and do some serious work.

By the end of the second interview I felt like I could handle whatever trick questions a panel of partners could throw at me. I knew exactly what I wanted to say, what was special about me and how to get that across to the interviewer. The confidence he gave me was invaluable. The firm offered me full sponsorship and a contract within a week. I really can’t recommend him enough.

Ghislaine Lawless 2.1 English Literature - BristolAshurst

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