EC's Washington delegate becomes UK press chief

The European Commission's mouthpiece in Washington Anthony Gooch has relocated to London to become UK head of press.

Previously the official spokesman for the EC's delegation in the US, Gooch joined its UK media operation this week. He reports to head of UK representation Reijo Kemppinen and oversees a team of five.

Gooch can expect to face a hostile anti-European tabloid press, quite unlike what he has faced in America. He takes over from Chris Bell, a Daily Mail journalist in the 1990s, who left this summer (PRWeek, 26 May).

Gooch had been in his Washington role since September 2003 and was respon­sible for promoting the European Union's policies throughout America.

He was previously the EU's visiting fellow to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he taught ­international relations, political economy and communications. He had also previously been the EU's trade spokesman and special adviser to the EU's chief trade negotiator Pascal Lamy.

He is a former reporter for the BBC World Service and ABC Television News.

The EC has traditionally suffered scorn and fierce criticism from Euro-sceptic tabloids over its policies. The
so-called ‘Euro myths' that circulated during Bell's time include claims that officials have tried to ban yoghurt and rocking horses.

Kemppinen had been acting in the role in addition to his current duties.

Gooch and the EC were unavailable for comment as PRWeek went to press.

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