Liberal Democrats set to take Number 10 comms posts

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been pushing for Liberal Democrat comms staff inside Downing Street.

In the frame: Ian Wright
In the frame: Ian Wright

Clegg is expected to find key roles in his entourage for press secretary Lena Pietsch and head of strategic policy and chief speechwriter Polly Mackenzie. Lib Dem sources suggested there would also be a role in government for director of general election communications Jonny Oates, should he wish to take it.

As PRWeek went to press, it was yet to be decided how many of Clegg's operatives would be based in Downing Street, but when asked about the composition of the Number 10 comms team, a senior Downing Street source told PRWeek: 'Of course, there would have to be Lib Dem comms representation.'

Clegg is also understood to be close to appointing a chief of staff, with Diageo comms director Ian Wright and party chief executive Chris Fox both in the frame, according to well-placed Lib Dem insiders.

But Wright told PRWeek he had not had any such talks and had no plans to leave his current role, while sources close to Fox insisted he would stay on at Lib Dem HQ. One senior Lib Dem said Clegg would hire a civil servant to be his chief of staff. Clegg's former chief of staff Danny Alexander is now Secretary of State for Scotland.

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