Conservative PR stalwarts Giles Kenningham and Caroline Preston take Downing Street comms roles

Downing Street has hired two Conservative Party PR stalwarts, including Tory comms director Giles Kenningham, to its comms function following the promotion of Helen Bower to the Prime Minister's official spokesperson.

PRWeek understands that Conservative Party director of comms Giles Kenningham has been appointed as head of political press at Number 10, replacing Alan Sendorek. Kenningham, formerly an ITV Lunchtime News producer, worked as a Conservative press officer prior to the 2010 general election.

A spokeswoman at the Conservative Party confirmed that Kenningham is to leave CCHQ for Number 10.

PRWeek has also learnt that former Conservative Party press officer Caroline Preston has been made head of broadcasting as part of the comms shake-up that has followed the Conservative Party's election victory last month.

Preston was most recently at Freuds. In her new role, she replaces Carrie Symonds who is now Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's media special adviser.

Bower replaced Jean-Christophe Gray at the start of June after about 16 months as deputy official spokesperson; she was the PM's fourth deputy spokesman during a 12-month period.

Her brief as deputy includes principal foreign affairs and defence press adviser. Bower secured the job of chief press officer for foreign affairs and defence in May 2011, moving from head of the press office at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's EU operation, based in Brussels.

Gray is to shortly take up a new role in Whitehall.

Downing Street was unable to confirm Kenningham and Preston's appointments at the time of publication.

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