Platell cranks up the Central Office PR team

The Conservative Party’s head of media, Amanda Platell, is boosting the party’s PR operation ahead of the next general election, with the appointment of up to five new press officers.

The Conservative Party’s head of media, Amanda Platell, is boosting

the party’s PR operation ahead of the next general election, with the

appointment of up to five new press officers.



The move brings the central office media team to 14, with the party also

set to hire a further researcher for shadow chancellor Michael

Portillo.



Having selected most of its Parliamentary candidates for the election -

widely tipped for next spring - the party is shifting its PR focus to

regional news organisations in a bid for better coverage. The workload

of the new appointees will reflect that, a party spokesman said.



The Tories’ PR function was restructured last summer into three teams

covering economic, home and foreign affairs, under subject heads Ed

Young, Adam Newton and Jonathan French respectively. These three report

to assistant head of media Andrew Scadding.



Under the changes, former Sunday Express newspaper editor Platell

created a ’war-room’ in which subject-based press officers would act as

spokesmen for the relevant front-bench figure, within one of the three

wider teams.



Hague’s deputy press secretary Priti Patel, who left Smith Square last

month to join Shandwick public affairs, has not been replaced. Deputy

head of media Nick Wood handles relations with the Parliamentary lobby.



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