London city hall spokesman joins News International

The publisher of The Sun has plucked a senior communications figure from London Mayor Boris Johnson's team as it seeks to "tell the story" of how it has changed since the phone hacking scandal.

The publisher of The Sun has plucked a senior communications figure from London Mayor Boris Johnson's team as it seeks to “tell the story” of how it has changed since the phone hacking scandal.

Johnson's former communications director, Guto Harri, has handed London city hall senior press officer Richard Brookes the task of leading News International's corporate affairs work.

It is the second time that Harri, News International's director of communications, has raided London city hall. He poached Sara Argent last year to lead external affairs.

Brookes succeeds Daisy Dunlop, who is moving to New York next month to lead strategy for the publishing spin-off from parent company News Corporation.

Dunlop will be VP for strategy and planning at the new group, which will contain News International and retain the News Corporation name after it splits with the broadcasting side of the business this summer.

Harri is thought to have wanted to bring Brookes onto his team in a separate role before news of Dunlop's departure surfaced.

“Richard is rock-solid and very sure-footed when it comes to handling sensitive, often counter-intuitive briefs and being imaginative with them,” said Harri.

News International, which also owns The Times, has been dogged by a series of arrests of former and current staffers since revelations about malpractice at News of the World broke in 2011.

Likening the revelations to a “bomb hitting,” Harri added that “it was very difficult for the company to do anything other than stay safe and sane, but we've regained confidence as a company and have made a lot of changes. We increasingly want to let the world know about them.”

“[Brookes] will be helping me tell the story of change at News International, and how the company has gone out of its way to identify, acknowledge, and put right what went wrong in the past and ensure it can't happen again,” he explained.

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

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