Sorene appointed Nick Clegg’s new head of communications

PR Week reports:

The Cabinet Office has appointed a senior Whitehall communicator to a newly-created role as Nick Clegg’s head of comms. James Sorene, currently the Department of Health’s head of news, will also act as the embattled Deputy Prime Minister’s spokesman. The role will involve working with Clegg’s political spokesman James McGrory and chief of staff Lena Pietsch. … The appointment follows a review of the support being provided to Clegg, conducted by Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell, which found his office is underpowered in strategic comms.

Those worried about such a move at a time of austerity are assured that the costs of the post “will be met within existing resource limits.”

The appointment of the head of communications is the latest bolstering of Nick’s unique position as deputy prime minister within a coalition government, and follows on from the party’s recent decision to appoint an individual to the dual role of Political Secretary to the DPM and Chief of Staff at the party’s headquarters.

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  • What took them so long?

    The notion that Nick should function as Deputy PM in what promises to be the most unpopular government in living memory, without a turbo charged PR department is a joke.

    What is deadly serious, however, is that this wasn’t addressed from the outset, while Call-Me-Dave went about appointing an entire coterie of image spinners.

    Something is very wrong here.

  • I’m in complete agreement with you, Kirsten. The lack of an effective communications strategy is in-part responsible for yesterday’s defeat. The rush to move the writ for an important by-election within days of a scheduled rise in VAT was compounded by pictures of Nick wringing his hands in the darkness of an Oldham morning, pictures subsequently shown alongside Bob Diamond’s unsympathetic show of self-entitlement on news bulletins.
    Some voters said they found the party’ s apparent impotence on this matter infuriating and the juxtaposition of those two worlds apart revealed terrible news management.

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