Government seeks head for new justice ministry

The Ministry of Justice has left without a director of communications just weeks before it's launch with the departure of Mike Anderson.

Anderson, who had only been in the post for four months, has depared to a senior climate change management role at the Department for the Enviroment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Department for Constitutional Affairs which will be renamed the Ministry of Justice on 9 May. When it also takes on some the Home Office's duties. It is now searching for a replacement for Anderson.

The current DCA director of comms post has responsibility for strategy, but it is expected this will be moved out of the directorate.

‘The scope of the strategy team is being looked at. It is thought the new role will be purely comms based,' a spokesman told PRWeek.

The post may continue to involve advising the high-profile secretary of state for constitutional affairs, and lord chancellor, Lord Falconer. It will report to the director general for strategy, Rod Clark. The comms team currently has 150 staff but may be revised with the loss of strategy personnel. DCA issues currently include legal aid, constitutional matters, freedom of information and human rights.

However, the department is poised to take on some of the Home Office's responsibilities. Probation, prisons and the prevention of re-offending will be shifted into the DCA which will then be re-named. This leaves the slimmed down Home Office to focus on immigration, terrorism and security.

Lord Falconer is not expected to become the secretary of state for justice but head of news Peter Wilkinson and deputy head of news Rob Smith retain his post.

Former DCA comms dir­ector Lucian Hudson now leads the comms directorate at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (PRWeek, 8 September 2006).

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