Tories hire Tim Collins for deputy comms role ahead of 2015 election

The Conservative Party has brought in Tim Collins as deputy director of comms as battle lines are drawn ahead of the next general election.

Key hire: Tim Collins will oversee the Tories' regional strategy
Key hire: Tim Collins will oversee the Tories' regional strategy

Confirmation that the ex-chief of staff to former housing minister Grant Schapps has been hired came shortly after Labour launched its own hunt for a senior comms figure.

PRWeek understands that Collins, who joins having spent two years as deputy director of comms at the Home Builders Federation, is seen by the Tories as a key hire before the 2015 campaign.

Among his roles will be overseeing regional strategy, with the party looking to boost its regional team of just two with an additional press officer for the South West.

A Tory source said the combination of private sector and political sector experience was key to the appeal of Collins, who steps in following Gareth Parry-Jones' departure to the British Medical Association in May.

'This is all part of getting on to an electoral footing, sharpening up what we do and being more proactive,' the source added.

Labour's hunt for the newly created role of deputy director of comms, meanwhile, has been described as 'strengthening the centre' of the party's campaign machine.

It comes shortly after the party's election strategy co-ordinator Tom Watson resigned earlier this month amid questions over the Unite union's influence on the Labour candidate selection process.

According to one party insider, having a senior London-based figure will be key, with current director of comms Bob Roberts regularly travelling the country.

He added: 'It's about bringing in the discipline and co-ordination that Labour had in government to the Labour Party HQ.

'To gear up for the elections we will need to strengthen our comms and improve our attack, upping our ferocity and speed and ensuring we're delivering a 24-hour news service.'

It is expected a hire will be made before the Labour Party Conference in September.

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

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has been sent home and will reconvene tomorrow morning for a seventh day of deliberations.

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Fishburn's management have defended their reinvention of the 23-year-old agency amid industry mutterings, fed by a series of director-level departures, about the direction in which it is going.

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

EasyJet aimed to break the world record for the highest ever theatrical performance for Shakespeare's 450th birthday yesterday with the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing on a flight from Gatwick to Verona.

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Senior executives from IBM, Nestlé, Vedanta, GE, Cargill, Philips and Allianz will be among the speakers at PRWeek's first Global Congress.