Former Vote Leave media chief among special advisers to survive reshuffle

Robert Oxley, a former press secretary to the Prime Minister, and Lucy Noakes, ex-associate partner at Finsbury, have survived last week’s cabinet reshuffle in which many spads lost their jobs when their ministers were sacked, PRWeek has learned.

Spads Robert Oxley (L) and Lucy Noakes (R) are among those to have survived the latest cabinet reshuffle
Spads Robert Oxley (L) and Lucy Noakes (R) are among those to have survived the latest cabinet reshuffle

Robin Oxley, who had been former foreign secretary Dominic Raab’s media spad, is understood to have joined Nadine Dorries, the new culture secretary, as one of her spads.

He has previously worked as press secretary to the Prime Minister, and was caught on camera swearing at a GMTV journalist on live television during the 2019 general election campaign.

Oxley's other previous comms roles have included head of media at Vote Leave and head of corporate comms for UK and Ireland at Deliveroo.

In his new role as a media spad at the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport, he will work alongside policy expert Hudson Roe, who has previously worked for CT Group and G4S.

Sports specialist

Another comms professional to have kept their job as a spad is Lucy Noakes. She has been kept on by Oliver Dowden, who was axed from his job as culture secretary and is now co-chairman of the Conservative Party.

Noakes describes herself as a “public affairs professional with extensive experience in UK politics, corporate communications and stakeholder engagement”.

Prior to becoming a spad in 2018, she had spent two-and-a-half years as an associate partner at Finsbury. Past roles also include public affairs manager at the Rugby Football Union, and public policy manager at the Lawn Tennis Association.

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