Scottish LibDems create top PR role

The Scottish Liberal Democrat Party has combined its research and press teams into one department and is looking for a communications head to help run the operation.

The Scottish Liberal Democrat Party has combined its research and

press teams into one department and is looking for a communications head

to help run the operation.



The post will oversee two junior press officers and either work

alongside or oversee the yet-to-be-appointed head of research. The rest

of the 11-strong office consists of policy researchers, who previously

worked for individual parliamentary candidates and will now work in a

pool for the new Members of Scottish Parliament (MSP).



The post will report directly to MSP George Lyon, convenor of the

SLDP.



Willy Rennie, chief executive of the Scottish Liberal Democratic Party,

said: ’We want to make sure the Liberal Democrat message is not

overwhelmed by messages from Labour. We want to get a strategy in place

so that whenever there is a Labour statement, there is a statement from

us, and when we vote differently, there will be an explanation of

why.’



The Liberal Democrats have 17 MSPs compared to Labour’s 56. SDLP leader

Jim Wallace will act as deputy first minister and Ross Finnie will be

minister for Rural Affairs, sitting in the nine-strong Labour-dominated

executive.



The PR head will need to be in place when the parliament reconvenes in

September.



’Scottish press and politics are very different - we are looking for

someone streetwise,’ Rennie added.



- Jock Gallagher, former executive director of the Association of

British Editors, has joined Liberal Democrat leadership candidate Simon

Hughes as senior media adviser. Gallagher heads a team of 30 journalists

handling Hughes’ PR on a voluntary basis across the country.



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