Prince Andrew's former PR man joins Finsbury after 'amicable split'

Jason Stein, the PR professional who advised against Prince Andrew's BBC Newsnight interview, has joined Finsbury. Stein previously worked for Amber Rudd, the sister of Finsbury founder Roland.

Jason Stein with former boss Amber Rudd. Photo: (Luke Dray/Getty Images)
Jason Stein with former boss Amber Rudd. Photo: (Luke Dray/Getty Images)

A former special adviser to the ex-MP for Hastings and Rye, Stein has joined Roland Rudd’s firm as a director at the start of this month, Finsbury has confirmed.

PRWeek understands Stein was hired directly by the Duke of York, but after a matter of weeks both sides 'amicably' agreed to part company, contrary to media reports that Stein had made the decision to quit alone.

It has been reported that he was hired by Prince Andrew to repair his public image after allegations about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein resurfaced after Epstein's death.

There had also been a resurgence of media interest in the testimony of US woman Virginia Roberts-Giuffre, who says she was forced to have sex with the Prince when she was 17 – a claim he has always denied.

It has been suggested that Andrew was advised to focus on charitable work and then agree to two newspaper interviews next year, rather than take part in the Newsnight interview, which has been branded a 'masterclass in PR disasters' by industry professionals.

Stein apprently clashed with the Duke of York's private secretary Amanda Thirsk, the director of his Pitch@Palace Global initiative.

It is believed that Thirsk pushed hard for Andrew to do the interview in the face of his initial scepticism, persuading him that it was the best way to draw a line under the rumours.

Buckingham Palace said it could not discuss Stein's decision to leave the media team as he was never a part of it.

"Jason Stein was never employed by the Royal Household," added a Buckingham Palace spokesperson.

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