Mike Craven is a founding partner of Lexington Communications whose clients include Novartis and the UK biotechnology industry lobby group the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC) .
Craven is a former adviser to the UK's Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott MP and has also acted as chief media spokesperson for the Labour Party. He is also a former managing director of lobby firm GPC Market Access.
Craven joined Market Access in 1988 and became its Managing Director in the mid-90s. While Craven was in charge, GPC Market Access was hired by SmithKline Beecham to support the SmithKline Beecham-funded lobbying of patient interest groups, notably the Genetic Interest Group , over the proposed Directive on the Legal Protection of Biotechnological Inventions (popularly known as the Patents on Life Directive). The Directive was eventually passed after heavy lobbying and despite widespread public opposition. GPC Market Access was accused of having waged a 'massive disinformation campaign' in the process.
As well as SmithKline Beecham, GPC's clients included Pfizer and Novartis.
In 1998 Mike Craven left GPC to become Labour Party Chief Media Officer. He replaced David Hill who left to become a Director of Good Relations (part of the Bell Pottinger PR group), whose clients include Monsanto.
A few months after Craven's departure, in July 1998, GPC was at the centre of the lobbygate 'cash for access' scandal. The journalist Greg Palast exposed the scandal of 'secretive business influence over policy-making', revealing how New Labour lobbyists were 'working to create a US-style interpenetration of corporations and government'. (The Best Democracy Money Can Buy)
In November 1998 Craven was joined by 3 GPC Market Access staffers when he started up Lexington Communications. In January 2003 Craven hired Bernard Marantelli, a PR operative from Monsanto, to help Lexington in its work for the ABC in the run up to the UK Government's decision on whether to allow GM crop commercialisation