Diageo boss to advise UK prime minister

Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh has been selected by the UK prime minister David Cameron to advise on business and economic issues.

Walsh, who had previously served as part of former leader Gordon Brown’s business council, joins a group of industry figures that will attend quarterly meetings with the prime minister, deputy prime minister, chancellor and business secretary.

Cameron said: “The deputy prime minister and I want to make sure the government is getting really good high-level advice from some of Britain’s leading business men and women.”

The group comprises senior figures from the retail, manufacturing, banking, defence, aviation and pharmaceutical industries.

Cameron said: “Having an advisory group with a range of experience and expertise should ensure that there is real interaction and discussion.”

Members are not remunerated during their 12-month tenure and, according to Number 10 (the prime minister’s office), are required to give views “on a personal rather than corporate basis”.

Other prominent figures among the 19-member group include Sir James Dyson, founder of Dyson; Eric Schmidt, chair and CEO of Google; and Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline.