Ex-Blair spokesman Godric Smith in Government Olympics press role

Tony Blair's former spokesman has been moved to a new role overseeing the Government's massive media relations operation for the Olympics.

2012 Olympics: will have a 24/7 press office
2012 Olympics: will have a 24/7 press office

Godric Smith, who was Blair’s official spokesman when he was prime minister, is joining the project being led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to run a 100-strong temporary press office to handle the huge influx of international calls relating to London 2012.

Smith has been shifted sideways from his previous role as director of comms at the Olympic Delivery Authority, the body responsible for creating the roads, railways and venues for the 2012 Games.

He is being deputised by Sarah Jones, a DCMS head of comms. Smith will also work closely with  Jenny Grey, the executive director of government comms.

Smith will remain in the post until after the Olympics has finished.

The press office, which will comprise staff seconded from other Whitehall departments, will operate 24/7 on a shift basis. The DCMS is currently processing the appointment of staff. A DCMS spokesman said the press officers would be expected to work ‘pretty long hours’.

PRWeek reported that a ‘concept of operations’ document had been drafted by the Government Olympic Executive, a unit within the DCMS developed  to co-ordinate the 2012 Games. It suggested that Government media handling during the torch relay and Games would be managed by drawing on Whitehall press officers through the Government’s News Co-ordination Centre.

In 2010, Smith was revealed by Panorama to be one of the highest earning public sector comms people. He is credited with steering Number 10 through the Hutton Inquiry.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.