Eastoe leads move to Edelman PA

Three senior members of staff at lobby shop Westminster Strategy, including COO Susan Eastoe, have quit to join Edelman's beefed up public affairs practice.

Eastoe joins Edelman PA this week in a newly created role as an executive director and has been joined by former Westminster Strategy account director John Lehal, who takes the same title. In two weeks director David Robertson also leaves the agency to join Edelman, also as a director.

This is just the latest move of staff from the agency to Edelman. Last year chairman Michael Burrell, who left amid a management reshuffle, joined in another newly created role, as European PA chairman.

Edelman UK chief executive James Thellusson said these latest hires were made as the agency bids to become, 'the number one public affairs business in the UK within the next two years'.

Thellusson added that Eastoe would be looking at ways to achieve this goal. 'It's too early to say whether there's a need to have micro markets and niches - it's really for Susan to look at.'

The agency is also planning to recruit more staff to its Brussels office headed by Charlotte Lester.

Burrell's arrival at Edelman last November was made as part of international president Alison Canning's drive to boost non-US work from one third to a half of all Edelman's business.

Westminster Strategy CEO Vivien Hepworth said she was reviewing the structure of the agency's London and Brussels office and is expected to make some senior hires within weeks. It is understood that Eastoe's COO role will not be revived.

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