Department for Education appoints former special adviser for speechwriter role

The Department for Education has controversially appointed a former departmental special adviser to the role of speechwriter, a civil service role.

Controversial appointment: Education Secretary Michael Gove
Controversial appointment: Education Secretary Michael Gove
As predicted in PRWeek (18 March), the DfE has appointed Elena Narozanski to one of two speechwriter roles, after lining her up for the job when she lost her political role.

Narozanski stopped working as one of Education Secretary Michael Gove’s special advisers in February, but PRWeek revealed that Gove planned to bring her back as a civil servant on a £42,000 wage in an attempt to bolster his comms unit.

The department advertised two speechwriter roles in The Guardian, calling for people ‘to craft compelling, convincing speeches to communicate government policy’.

It was understood to be open knowledge within the DfE comms unit that Narozanski was being lined up for the role.

At the time, a DfE insider said: ‘Gove is trying to bring in his own woman to do this job. He knows exactly who he wants. There’s a bigger story behind this – he has lost control of his department and is desperately trying to reassert it, but of course things such as this just backfire.’

The department has also appointed Alex Gowlland for the other speechwriter role, who has formerly worked at Kreab Gavin Anderson.

A DfE spokesman said:  ‘As with all appointments, the normal civil service recruitment processes have been followed. The two successful candidates were the strongest in the field and we are delighted they are joining the speechwriting team.’

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