Mandelson and Byrne get special advisers

The two new members of the government responsible for advising Gordon Brown on strategic comms have both appointed special advisers.

Peter Mandelson: hires special advisor
Peter Mandelson: hires special advisor

Business secretary Peter Mandelson has landed the hugely respected Downing Street aide Geoffrey Norris, while new cabinet office minister Liam Byrne is believed to be bringing in management consultant Tony Danker.

Mandelson is secretary of state at the Department for Business and Regulatory Reform (BERR), but he is also unofficially advising Brown on strategic communications.

The highly influential Norris was previously Downing Street’s special advisor on business. He was described by one insider as ‘the link between government and business for the last ten years’.

Byrne has been given a key communications role working alongside Brown’s former top media handler Damian McBride on long-term comms strategy.

Number Ten insiders said Byrne had hired McKinsey consultant Tony Danker as his special adviser although the Cabinet Office could not confirm this as the time of writing.

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