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The good ship Request Initiative celebrates five years, plans even bigger adventure

September 30, 2016

Champagne bottles are being smashed…

The crew on the good ship Request Initiative has been celebrating five years since we first set sail – but our sights are already set on the future. The non-profit is today launching its brand new website and announcing new staff and advisors.

Professor David Miller, the founding director of Spinwatch and a sociologist at the University of Bath, will be joining our board of advisors. Spinwatch, like Request, is dedicated to transparency, open government and ensuring the general public are not disenfranchised by secret lobbying and grace and favours at Westminster.

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We are also delighted to announce that Victoria Seabrook is now working with Request Initiative, making requests that will lead to big stories in the national press and also leading our new programme applying to trusts and foundations for long term support.

Seabrook is a graduate of the brilliant City University investigative journalism masters course and has already produced work for BBC Panorama, Channel 4 Dispatches and The Guardian.

Genuinely Exciting

She is joined by Jack Castle, who is currently at City Law School training to be a barrister after graduating in English from Oxford University. Jack has already authored two of the best requests our small community interest company has made in its history.

Brendan Montague, the managing director, said: “This is a genuinely exciting time for Request Initiative. I’m personally very proud of the work my colleagues have done, the victories in the Information Tribunal and bringing public awareness to the issues of concern to our charitable clients.

“But it’s also amazing that after five years we have someone of the calibre and experience of Professor David Miller joining our board. The vitality and talent that Victoria and Jack have brought with them to the party is also uplifting.”

Lucas Amin, the founding director and driving force behind Request Initiative during the early years, has now been elevated to the advisory board and given the title of ‘ambassador at large’.

Request Initiative won a major victory at the Information Tribunal in July when the judges ruled that Tate had to release the amount of sponsorship given by BP to 2011, after an epic five year battle.

The case was brilliantly presented pro bono by Julianne Kerr Morrison of Monckton Chambers, and led to the barrister for the Information Commissioner doing a hasty u-turn mid hearing.

The community interest company does not make a profit and will during the next year be focussed on applying to trusts and foundations so as to continue and extend its work.