Key communications staff to leave Lib Dems

Robert Winnett at The Daily Telegraph’s Three Line Whip blog gives us the low-down, and Sam Coates at The Times’ Red Box blog has this to say:

Jon Oates, the party’s director of policy and communications, is returning to the world of lobbying, and (re-)joining Bell Pottinger. Jon has been a steadying influence on the party through difficult times, and is widely recognised as one of the most talented and friendly people in the party. Although he is sorry to go without fighting an election (he was a Ming appointment) he couldn’t hang on until 2010. His loss will be felt.

He isn’t the only one. Euan Roddin, his twenty-something speechwriter, is also going. He arrived in the leader’s office in the dying days of the Ming era – when things were already going wrong – but made a perceptible difference to the speeches which were quite good, particularly towards the end.

Clegg is currently protected by consistent poll ratings, but the loss of these two figures so early on is a headache.

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