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
The party projections role will be one of three assistant general
secretary posts, also including policy, and elections and
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,
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.