Charles Kennedy is seeking his first press secretary, weeks after
having secured the Liberal Democrat party leadership with a relatively
Since his election last August, Kennedy’s media relations have been
handled by Paddy Ashdown’s outgoing press secretary, Miranda Green.
Green, a former business journalist, leaves the post this week after two
years, having seen Kennedy through his first party conference season as
leader. She is now considering her career options.
Kennedy and his inner circle - several of whom work in communications -
are now interviewing for the new press secretary, who they hope will be
in place within a few weeks.
The post is responsible for raising Kennedy’s profile in the media. GPC
senior consultant James Gurling, who advised Kennedy on his media
relations during the leadership campaign, and Liberal Democrat
communications head David Walter have ruled themselves out for the
But party chief press and broadcasting officer Jeremy Browne is believed
to be in the frame, as well as several potential candidates from the
broadcast media. A spokesman for Kennedy’s office said: ’The party
conference and the reshuffle got in the way of focusing our energy on
the press secretary, but now we are turning our attention to that.’
Green said: ’Charles Kennedy needs someone of his own. You become a
mouthpiece for the person you work for. This is a 24-hour-a-day
Meanwhile, the Scottish Liberal Democrat party has appointed Gerald
Vernon-Jackson as its first media head. He joins later this month from
his post as head of office for Newbury MP and Lib Dem leadership
candidate David Rendel. Vernon-Jackson will report to the Scottish
party’s communications head, who is to be appointed in the next three
weeks (PR Week, 9 July).