Virgin Trains' Arthur Leathley to fill long-vacant DECC comms role

The Department of Energy and Climate (DECC) change has hired Virgin Trains' Arthur Leathley as its director of comms.

Arthur Leathley: Joining DECC
Arthur Leathley: Joining DECC

The role was previously left vacant for more than two years after the resignation of Paddy Feeny.

Leathley will start in the coming weeks, having been comms director at Virgin Trains, where he has spent the past nine years heading the company’s media, political and internal comms operation, as well as customer relations.

‘This is a fantastic opportunity. Energy and climate change matter to every individual and every business. Energy and climate change matter to every individual and every business,' Leathley commented. 'The task for communications is clear: to demonstrate that the UK has secure, clean, affordable energy supplies and to drive international action to mitigate climate change.’

The role had previously been filled on a joint basis by former DECC head of news Nick Turton, recently replaced by DEFRA’s Penny Fox, and Paul Dee, head of corporate comms.

Following the resignation of Feeny in May 2011, PRWeek revealed that the role was set to be left unfilled due to restructuring taking place within the department and major cuts to the comms team.

It is understood the role has been filled as part of a broader effort to step up government comms following the arrival of Alex Aiken.

Director of government comms Aiken said: 'Arthur is a great addition to an already strong team of directors of communication across Whitehall. We want exceptional comms delivered by increasingly skilled government communicators, and I look forward to seeing Arthur bring that mission to life at DECC.’

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