Career Government comms chief Simon Wren leaves Home Office

Simon Wren has left his position as director of comms at the Home Office, PRWeek has learned, following a career spanning 20 years as a senior-level comms chief across government.

Spurs fan Simon Wren has left his role as director of comms at the Home Office
Spurs fan Simon Wren has left his role as director of comms at the Home Office
Wren has taken on a brief secondment at the Department of Communities and Local Government before he goes on a year-long leadership course, leaving one of the most prominent and high-pressure roles in government comms.

He led comms at the Home Office for more than five years, taking on the role in April 2012, after filling the role on a temporary basis from January that year.

Wren forged a place for himself at the Home Office, having been its head of news for five years between 2006 and 2011 before becoming director of comms in 2012, where he co-ordinated the Government’s messages on the crime and law and order agendas.

He also spent a large part of his career at the Ministry of Defence and took the role of director of comms at the department for a year between 2011 and 2012.
He was also the Ministry’s head of news and held the same position at the Department for Transport for four years.

Wren joined the civil service in 1985. Early roles at the MoD included working on procurement, Army training and Navy planning before becoming its chief press officer in 2000.

He was acting director of news at the MoD during the UK response to 9/11, before managing the comms effort during the subsequent military operations in Afghanistan.

In 2001 he was became head of media relations and in 2003 undertook a short-term operational tour as the command media adviser for UK Gulf Forces.

Wren, whose past times include following Tottenham Hotspur and listening to heavy rock, was named as one of PRWeek’s ‘Powerbook’ top ten public sector comms operatives earlier this year.

His position at the Home Office is being covered by head of news Andy Tighe, who joined the department from the BBC where he was home affairs correspondent, and Sharon Sawyers, head of strategic communications.

PRWeek understands that the Home Office is in the process of recruiting a permanent replacement for Wren and that applications for the position have already closed.

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