LONDON: Newly elected London mayor Ken Livingstone is on the verge of granting ’special advisor’ status to press secretary Emma St. Giles - despite her lack of PR experience and the fact that she has been harshly criticized by journalists.
LONDON: Newly elected London mayor Ken Livingstone is on the verge
of granting ’special advisor’ status to press secretary Emma St. Giles -
despite her lack of PR experience and the fact that she has been harshly
criticized by journalists.
A former news reporter, St. Giles was introduced as the mayor’s press
secretary at his first news conference last week. According to one
source, St. Giles, who joined the Livingstone campaign from GMTV in late
March, has been attacked for not returning calls and ’failing to
understand the basics of her job.’
Added another, ’It’s an unusual choice to appoint someone with no
background in PR. If she antagonizes the very people she needs to keep
on her side, she will quickly become a liability.’
While Mike Ricketts, communications director of the Greater London
Authority, insisted no formal appointments have been made by the mayor,
St. Giles will be formally given special advisor status within the next
When contacted by PRWeek, St. Giles declined comment.
The Greater London Authority Act of 1999 gives the mayor the right to
appoint two special advisors and 10 senior members of staff. The second
special advisor post will likely go to former mayoral campaign manager
St. Giles’ appointment to the press secretary post was the first in a
series of moves by political PR pros. Former APCO consultant Angie Bray
has resigned from the agency to sit for the Tories in the new assembly,
while the former press secretary to ex-Tory chairman Chris Patten is
expected to assume a leading role in the nine-strong Greater London
Authority Tory team.
Jeremy Fraser, who ran a campaign for the Labour Party’s Frank Dobson,
has returned to GJW, while Ceri Evans, who ran Tory Steve Norris’
campaign, is planning to work on a US senate race later in the year.
Liberal Democrat Susan Kramer’s PR chief, Charlotte Barraclough, is
taking a three-month break to travel.