Ofgem appoints Whitehall veteran as comms chief

Priya Brahmbhatt-Patel has been appointed director of communications for Ofgem, PRWeek has learned

Priya Patel brings more than 15 years' of comms experience to her new role
Priya Patel brings more than 15 years' of comms experience to her new role

Brahmbhatt-Patel joins Ofgem from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), where she was director of comms, and started work at the energy regulator on Monday.

At Ofgem she leads a comms team of more than 30 people, covering media relations, strategic comms and public affairs, as well as the regulator’s web and digital output.

She reports to Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley, who was appointed last February.

Ofgem, along with its sister regulators, is a source of keen media interest and must manage the competing demands of its stakeholders.

This week, it recommended that National Grid should have its responsibility for managing Britain’s power grid removed because of potential conflicts of interest.

Ofgem said a new, independent body should be set up to accelerate the UK’s transition to a 'net zero' electricity network.

Commenting on her comms priorities, Brahmbhatt-Patel told PRWeek there could not be a more exciting time to join Ofgem.

“This is a pivotal moment where, working together with industry and government, real progress can be made to rethink how Britain produces, transports and uses energy in the journey towards net zero.

“At the heart of this is making sure consumers are protected, that they understand the changing energy landscape and are reassured that they will receive the light and heat they need every day, in an affordable and sustainable way.”

Career path

Brahmbhatt-Patel began her comms career as a PR officer for the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

She went on to work as a press officer for government departments including the Department for Transport and the Home Office, before becoming chief press officer at the Department for Education and Skills.

Brahmbhatt-Patel also worked for the Department for Culture Media and Sports, rising to become its deputy director of comms.

She took the role of interim director of comms at MHCLG following the departure of Kirsty Buchanan, who left the department last April amid allegations of bullying

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