DfID and DCMS begin comms jobs shake-up

The Department for International Development and Department for Culture, Media and Sport have seen changes at the top of their comms line-up, as the Government's cuts bite further.

As revealed on prweek.com/uk (3 December), DfID has appointed James Helm as director of comms from the COI.

He replaces James Hardy, who left DfID in September to join the BBC as head of comms for journalism after just five months.

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that DCMS director of comms Jane Cooper has left her role with no job to go to. It is not known if she was made redundant.

A DCMS spokeswoman said: 'As part of the restructure, Jane Cooper decided to stand down from her role as director of comms to explore opportunities outside the civil service.'

DCMS deputy head of news Toby Sargent added that there were no immediate plans to replace Cooper. 'We haven't decided what to do yet - for the time being it's going to be a vacant post. She didn't go to a particular post. She's considering her options.'

Sargent added there would be more news on arrangements for heading the DCMS comms team in the New Year.

Cooper was appointed in January 2009, having been director of comms at the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Helm joined DfID last week, after working at the COI as group client director since last July.

He has worked as a reporter, producer and presenter on the Today programme on Radio 4, Radio 5 Live, BBC World and the BBC World Service. He has also acted as a consultant to PR agency Blue Rubicon.

The news follows the departures of permanent secretary for government comms Matt Tee and COI director of news and PR Neil Martinson.

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