Home Office’s Martin to direct DCMS press office

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has appointed Home Office deputy head of news Linda Martin to its top press post.

Martin will join the DCMS as head of news in February to handle high-profile issues such as the 2012 Olympics, the BBC's Royal Charter review and gambling.

She will also act as Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell's press secretary. The DCMS's preparation for the 2012 Games involves overseeing one of the biggest construction projects in Europe. The department will have to defend any increase in the cost of staging the event, with some reports claiming they have been vastly underestimated.

Martin – who will lead a team of 30 – replaces Paddy Feeny, who was promoted to DCMS director of comms and strategy in October (PRWeek, 6 October 2005).

She leaves after six years at the Home Office, which she joined as an information officer, becoming deputy head of news last May.

Martin has been acting head of news since John Toker's departure in October when he joined the Cabinet Office as director of counter-terrorism communications (PRWeek, 13 October 2005).

The Home Office has since appointed MOD head of press Simon Wren to the head of news post. He will start in mid-February (PRWeek, 6 January).

Wren is expected to search for Martin's replacement in the spring.

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