Government comms professional appointed as minister’s press secretary

Government comms professional Harry Wingfield has been appointed press secretary to the housing minister, Chris Pincher, at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), PRWeek has learned.

Harry Wingfield is now press secretary to the minister for housing
Harry Wingfield is now press secretary to the minister for housing

Wingfield takes on the Civil Service role having served in several capacities at the department since he joined it last year, including senior Brexit comms adviser and, more recently, helping to shape its messaging on COVID-19.

Career path

Wingfield began his government comms career as a PR apprentice at what was then the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), where he was selected from an initial list of 70 applicants for the 18-month programme.

He remained at the department after it morphed into its current form as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), rising through the ranks until he was one of three people asked to form a comms team within the department to support its new Office for Product Safety and Standards.

The rise of the press secretary

Wingfield’s appointment follows the announcement earlier this month that his contemporary at BEIS Ben Hemington, who was appointed chief press officer to the Government’s chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance on a six-month secondment, has joined the UK Space Agency as its head of comms.

In April, PRWeek reported that journalist and broadcaster Allegra Stratton had been appointed director of strategic comms to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak – a political role rather than a civil servant’s job.

MHCLG declined to comment on Wingfield’s appointment.

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