National Security Council in Downing Street comms hire

The National Security Council has appointed a Downing Street senior press officer to oversee media relations around terrorism and cyber crime.

Leaving Downing Street: Derek Smith joins the National Security Council
Leaving Downing Street: Derek Smith joins the National Security Council
Derek Smith joins the National Security Council as chief press officer in December, after working at Number 10 for four years.

He is to take on specific responsibility for national counter-terrorism and cyber crime in the press.

Smith is also expected to oversee media relations with regard to Afghanistan.

The National Security Council was set up last May to oversee all aspects of Britain's security, led by Sir Peter Ricketts.

The Council is chaired by the Prime Minister David Cameron.

Smith formerly worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, when he was press spokesman for minister Kim Howells.

He will report to Ricketts and the prime minister.

A recruitment process is under way to find a replacement for Smith in Downing Street.

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