Not reading all about it

June 13, 1997

Grimley, the "International Property Advisers" have always featured prominently on the universities estate and buildings front. Who better to tell the press about new plans for the Private Finance Initiative? "Treasury review of Private Finance Initiative: press release to be issued by the Treasury on Friday 13th June" trumpeted the brothers Grimley. "Special arrangements" are to be made for journalists to access Grimley comment, it said.

Alas Grimley cocked up monumentally. The PFI review is being handed to the Treasury's Geoffrey Robinson, head of PFI, on the 13th, but as a guffawing Treasury press officer said of Grimley's blunder: "We shall not be commenting for about two weeks. What on earth do they think Geoffrey Robinson is? He's got to read it first, you know. Sounds hilarious. Can you fax it to me?"

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