New comms chiefs appointed at Cabinet Office and Department for Education

Both the Department for Education and the Cabinet Office will bring in experienced Whitehall figures as their new heads of comms in the coming weeks.

Why did the press officer cross the road? To take on a new role in a different department
Why did the press officer cross the road? To take on a new role in a different department

Extra information was added to this story shortly after publication; see note at end.

Poli Stuart-Lacey will join the Cabinet Office as head of comms in the coming weeks from her current role at HM Revenue & Customs, PRWeek has learned. According to her LinkedIn profile she has been HM Revenue & Customs' head of comms for benefits and credits since 2012.

Suzy Jenner takes the top comms job at the DfE next month. Her LinkedIn profile says she is currently on a secondment with agency Ogilvy Group UK that began in April this year and was intended to last 12 months. Jenner had previously worked for the DfE when it was the Department for Education and Skills, and since then has had other civil service comms roles including in the Ministry of Justice.

The current temporary head of comms at the Cabinet Office is Christian Cubitt, who will be part of the Government Communication Service leadership team and remain working for the Cabinet Office after Stuart-Lacey's arrival.

Cubitt, who spent time as the Prime Minister's deputy spokesman in the last government, was previously the Ministry of Justice's head of external comms. In June, that MoJ role was filled by Gabriel Milland, himself the former DfE head of comms.

Ray Tang, who had occupied the head of comms role at the DfE since May following three years in another role at the department, will remain at the department as head of press office.

Further to these moves, Emily Mansell was promoted last month from senior press officer to chief press officer within the Cabinet Office, following Amy Lawson's departure.

Lawson, who joined the department as chief press officer in February 2013 from Channel 4 News, recently joined the global corporate comms team of business software giant Sage.

Alex Aiken, executive director of government comms, said: "We are delighted to have been able to appoint two exceptional and experienced women to leading communication roles at the Cabinet Office and Department of Education. Poli and Suzy will help lead the next generation of female communicators within government."

When this story was first published, the first line said it was not known what would happen to Cubitt and Tang after the arrival of their successors – PRWeek received further information after publication to clarify this.

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