Corporate affairs specialist The Blakeney Group has appointed Lizzie Loudon, former Hanbury partner and ex-press secretary to Theresa May, as a director, the agency announced this week.
Loudon’s most recent role, as chief of staff and director of comms for Rory Stewart’s abandoned bid to become London mayor, ended in June.
She will be advising a range of clients across the agency, which counts Octopus Energy, Malaria No More, Service Now and Oak View Group among its current clients. Blakeney was founded by Gabe Winn, former corporate affairs director at Centrica, in 2016, and was named among PRWeek UK's New Agencies to Watch in 2018.
“Blakeney has achieved seriously impressive things in its first years, representing an ever-growing roster of clients, and I couldn’t be more excited to be joining them as they approach the next stage of growth for the company,” Loudon said.
The agency “fuses together deep political insight and corporate strategy into creative and nimble campaigns that deliver for clients,” she added.
“The political and economic headwinds facing companies today are formidable, and I hope that I can lend my experience in government and outside to help clients navigate that turbulence, and to seize opportunities as they arise.”
Jonathan Lomax, Blakeney’s managing director, said Loudon “will bolster our senior advisory capacity at a time when clients of all types need superb, thoughtful, evidence-based advice”.
He commented: “This has been a hugely difficult time for everyone and we are privileged to be helping a number of clients that are facing brutally tough circumstances. It is the perfect time to be expanding our team with someone who knows what it is like to be at the nexus of politics and the media, with a whole host of sectors suddenly dependent on the Government for support or permission to operate.”
Loudon has held a series of high-profile jobs. After a serving as a press officer at the Department for Work and Pensions, she became a special adviser to work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith in 2013.
When he resigned his ministerial post in March 2016, Loudon spent a few months as comms manager at Vote Leave before being appointed press secretary to Prime Minister Theresa May in July 2016.
Loudon went on to join Hanbury Strategy, the firm co-founded by Paul Stephenson, ex-director of comms at Vote Leave, and spent two years there before leaving in May 2019 to work as a special adviser to then-international development secretary Rory Stewart.
Loudon stayed with Stewart as his chief of staff when he stepped down in July last year and mounted a bid to become leader of the Conservative Party before running as a candidate for London Mayor. He withdrew from the race in May this year after the elections were postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19.
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