PUBLIC SECT0R: Kensington and Chelsea PR role given to Fitzpatrick

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has appointed Martin Fitzpatrick to succeed communications director Penny Mordaunt.

Fitzpatrick, previously deputy director of communications, takes up the retitled role of head of communications from this month.

Mordaunt left at the end of December to set up a centre-right politics website and concentrate on seeking a seat as a Conservative Party candidate at the next general election.

She said that despite the downgraded title Fitzpatrick will continue to have a direct reporting line to CEO and town clerk Derek Myers, and will continue to head the day-to-day work of the six-strong communications team.

However, she conceded the role will have less of a 'strategic focus', but added that the current structure wasn't final and is something that Fitzpatrick will look at from this month.

As reported online at www. prweek.com (19/12/02) Mordaunt is to launch her website, www.virtualconservatives.com in February, together with US political commentator and former Republican National Committee deputy press secretary Cherylyn Harley.

It is understood the site will have a UK and US focus, covering political and comms features. Although not aligned to a specific party it is aimed at those with centre-right views. It is hoped that left-wing commentators will also contribute.

Mordaunt joined Kensington and Chelsea as its first comms director in 2001 from the Conservative Party, where she was head of broadcasting (PRWeek, 22 June 2001).

While working for the party she was involved in an exchange programme with Harley.

During her time at the council a comms forum was set up to advise those staff who are not dedicated PRO's but are involved in comms activity.

Her role was created following the launch of the council's website in February 2001 and in response to increased media activity.

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