Portland signs up Conservative Party heavyweight Michael Portillo

Conservative Party heavyweight Michael Portillo is to join Portland as the agency sets up a new high-level 'advisory council'.

New signing: Portland recruits Michael Portillo
New signing: Portland recruits Michael Portillo

The former shadow cabinet member and one-time darling of the right will provide strategic advice to the agency's senior management team, PRWeek has learned.
 
The hire is a coup for Portland, which is headed by Tim Allan, a former deputy communications director at Downing Street under Tony Blair.
 
Portillo is the second Tory big hitter to join Portland's ranks in recent months, following the appointment of David Cameron's former press secretary George Eustice.
 
The agency also previously employed Rachel Whetstone, partner of Conservative Party strategy director Steve Hilton, as a consultant. Whetstone is now vice president for global communications at Google.
 
Portillo will work on a part-time basis and will not be based in Portland's London HQ. Sources at Portland declined to reveal how much Portillo would be paid in the new role.
 
In a statement, Portillo said ‘Portland has built a strong reputation and a first class knowledge of politics and the media. I look forward to working with the team and helping the business grow.'
 
Also on the advisory council is Chris Powell, founder and former chairman of DDB advertising agency. Further announcements are expected later this year.
 
Portland MD Tim Allan said: ‘Portland has grown from a small boutique agency a few years ago to a significant player in the UK communications market, with a blue chip client list and a first class team advising clients across a range of disciplines. We have ambitious growth plans, and the wisdom and experience of such distinguished advisers will be an enormous asset guiding us through this stage in our development.'

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