Ken to grant adviser status to PR novice

Newly-elected London mayor Ken Livingstone is on the verge of granting special adviser status to press secretary Emma St Giles, despite her lack of PR experience and the fact that she has come in for criticism from journalists with whom she works.

Newly-elected London mayor Ken Livingstone is on the verge of

granting special adviser status to press secretary Emma St Giles,

despite her lack of PR experience and the fact that she has come in for

criticism from journalists with whom she works.



A former news reporter, St Giles was introduced as the mayor’s press

secretary at his first news conference last week.



Mike Ricketts, communications director of the Greater London Authority,

insisted no formal appointments have yet been made by the mayor.

However, PR Week understands St Giles, who joined the Livingstone

campaign from GMTV late in March, will be formally given special adviser

status within the next two weeks.



St.Giles has been attacked for not returning calls and ’failing to

understand the basics of her job’. She declined to contribute to this

article.



One London political PRO said: It’s an unusual choice to appoint someone

with no background in PR. If she antagonises the very people she needs

to keep on side, she will become a liability.’



The Greater London Authority Act of 1999 gives the mayor the right to

appoint two special advisers and a further ten senior members of

staff.



The second special adviser post is thought likely to go to former

mayoral campaign manager Simon Fletcher.



Meanwhile, APCO consultant Angie Bray has resigned from the agency to

sit for the Tories in the new assembly. The former press secretary to

ex-Tory chairman Chris Patten is expected to assume a leading role in

the nine-strong Tory rump in the GLA.



Jeremy Fraser, who ran Labour’s Frank Dobson’s campaign, has returned to

GJW, while Ceri Evans, who ran Tory Steve Norris’ bid, is planning to

work on a US senatorial election race later in the year. Lib Dem Susan

Kramer’s PR chief Charlotte Barraclough is taking a three-month break to

travel.



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