Political adviser Harding joins Google in policy role

LONDON: A political adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has left her role to join Google.

LONDON: A political adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has left her role to join Google.

Verity Harding is understood to have taken a policy role with the technology giant, after leaving her public-sector job earlier this month.

A spokesman for the Liberal Democrats confirmed the move, adding that “[Harding] made an enormous contribution, but she is seeking new challenges and will be sadly missed.”

Harding, who has not been replaced, is believed to have previously worked as a senior policy adviser at the party's central office. Her move to Google comes amid parliamentary pressure on the Internet giant over its UK tax arrangements. In May, Clegg raised the issue with Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

Harding's switch also follows criticism of close ties between the UK government and Google.

Harding has become one of several Google policy and communications executives with links to the UK government. Google international head of communications Rachel Whetstone was a senior adviser to former Conservative Party leader Michael Howard and the wife of Steve Hilton, a former strategy director to Prime Minister David Cameron. Policy adviser Naomi Gummer was an adviser to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.

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