Labour reshapes PR chief job in Triesman-led review

The Labour Party has broadened the remit of its top PR role and

axed the title communications director following an overhaul by

recently-appointed general secretary David Triesman.



The Millbank-based post of assistant general secretary (party

projections) has been created, with beefed up responsibility to oversee

conference management and design, as well as media, PR and media

monitoring.



The party projections role will be one of three assistant general

secretary posts, also including policy, and elections and

organisation.



The director of communications post was last held by former BBC reporter

Lance Price, who left last June.



His departure was part of an exodus from the party's PR machine after

the General Election on 7 June.



Price's number two Jim Godfrey left to become a special adviser for

trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt. Former chief press officer

Steve Bates also quit to take a similar advisory role with Northern

Ireland minister John Reid.



The four-strong press office will continue to be headed by chief press

and broadcasting officer Matthew Doyle, who will report to the incoming

assistant general secretary.



A party spokesman denied that the decision to make the most senior comms

job more wide-ranging was a cost-cutting measure: 'This will tie

together parts of the party so that we can have a more integrated

approach to how we communicate.'



The spokesman also denied the new title's absence of the words

'communications' or 'PR' was an attempt to distance the party from

accusations of spin.



All departments coming under party projections will be based at

Millbank, rather than at Labour's new head office in North Shields,

Tyneside.



One of the party projections postholder's first tasks, if an appointment

is made before May, will be to oversee PR and campaigning for this

year's local elections.



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