The Cabinet Office has confirmed that Christian Cubitt is stepping into the role left vacant after Vickie Sheriff’s departure to head comms at the Department for Transport.
Cubitt is an interim appointment ahead of a wider selection process. He was previously press secretary to Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood and the head of the civil service, Sir Bob Kerslake.
Cubitt will work under the Prime Minister’s spokesman Jean-Christophe Gray, who was appointed last year to replace Steve Field.
PRWeek understands that Cubitt’s move comes amid plans to further ‘formalise’ the role.
Ideas being considered are thought to include a regular weekly slot holding the lobby briefings alongside Gray, rather than filling in for him when he is not available.
Of the appointment, incoming executive director of government comms Alex Aiken, said: ‘This temporary move to Number 10 is deserved recognition for the crucial role Christian has played driving civil service comms, advising Bob Kerslake and Jeremy Heywood. He is the right person to maintain high standards in that team while we recruit to fill the role permanently.’