Newly-elected London mayor Ken Livingstone is on the verge of
granting special adviser status to press secretary Emma St Giles,
despite her lack of PR experience and the fact that she has come in for
criticism from journalists with whom she works.
A former news reporter, St Giles was introduced as the mayor’s press
secretary at his first news conference last week.
Mike Ricketts, communications director of the Greater London Authority,
insisted no formal appointments have yet been made by the mayor.
However, PR Week understands St Giles, who joined the Livingstone
campaign from GMTV late in March, will be formally given special adviser
status within the next two weeks.
St.Giles has been attacked for not returning calls and ’failing to
understand the basics of her job’. She declined to contribute to this
One London political PRO said: It’s an unusual choice to appoint someone
with no background in PR. If she antagonises the very people she needs
to keep on side, she will become a liability.’
The Greater London Authority Act of 1999 gives the mayor the right to
appoint two special advisers and a further ten senior members of
The second special adviser post is thought likely to go to former
mayoral campaign manager Simon Fletcher.
Meanwhile, APCO consultant Angie Bray has resigned from the agency to
sit for the Tories in the new assembly. The former press secretary to
ex-Tory chairman Chris Patten is expected to assume a leading role in
the nine-strong Tory rump in the GLA.
Jeremy Fraser, who ran Labour’s Frank Dobson’s campaign, has returned to
GJW, while Ceri Evans, who ran Tory Steve Norris’ bid, is planning to
work on a US senatorial election race later in the year. Lib Dem Susan
Kramer’s PR chief Charlotte Barraclough is taking a three-month break to