Michael is an experienced Public Affairs professional who worked in Parliament for several years. He is currently the Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, where he has been since January 2014.
Either side of completing a degree in Politics and Parliamentary Studies at the University of Leeds in 2005, Michael worked in a variety of policy roles for MPs in both Ottawa and Westminster working on civil liberties and counter-terrorism policy. He then took a permanent role in the office of Theresa Villiers MP. For most of Michael’s time in Parliament, she was Shadow Transport Secretary, and Michael played a key policy development role on issues such as HS2 and aviation capacity in London in the run up to the 2010 General Election.
He then moved from political gamekeeper to poacher by moving into Public Affairs with the Freight Transport Association in 2009, working on campaigns that saw fuel duty reduced for the first time in many years and co-ordinated the industry’s protests against rising Severn Bridge in both Westminster and Cardiff. However, the charity sector was always his passion, and this was realised by moving to Battersea in 2014.
At the Home he leads the team that plans and carries out Battersea’s political engagement and policy development, which researches and shares Battersea’s public positions on all dog and cat policy issues. In his three and a half years he has worked on a wealth of dog and cat issues including reform of Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act, compulsory microchipping and opposition to Breed-Specific Legislation. It is, however, for Battersea’s two major ground-breaking campaigns that his work is perhaps best known – the “End Backstreet Breeding” campaign played a critical role in persuading the Government to reform the regulation of dog breeding and sale, and the current “#NotFunny” campaign which launched in February 2017 and has mobilised over 50,000 people to take action in calling for a five-year maximum sentence for animal cruelty. Battersea remains confident that this will be just as successful.
He has represented Battersea on various sector groups including APGAW and CFSG, and has presented for Battersea to a wide range of audiences from Sky Sunrise to the Conservative Women’s Organisation and ADCH Conference.