Ex-Downing Street comms chief Lee Cain's first clients revealed

Camelot and the Social Mobility Foundation have been revealed as the first clients for Charlesbye, the new agency founded by former Downing Street comms director Lee Cain.

Lee Cain: founded Charlesbye after 18 months at Downing Street
Lee Cain: founded Charlesbye after 18 months at Downing Street

The focus for the Camelot and Social Mobility Foundation briefs are strategy and communications. Charlesbye also provided communications support to the Kurdish Regional Government during a state visit to the UK to meet the Prime Minister last month.

The clients were published today by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), an independent body that approves all contracts for anyone who previously held senior positions in Government.

It is believed Charlesbye has submitted a number of other applications to Acoba and is expected to announce a raft of new clients in the coming weeks. The firm has also launched a recruitment drive, advertising for multiple consultant positions, and it expects to announce a new partner shortly as part of its expansion.

Lee Cain founded Charlesbye earlier this year, having departed Downing Street last November after about 18 months. His departure came amid reports that he had been forced out after Boris Johnson's then-fiancée Carrie Symonds – a former Conservative Party comms director – objected to his planned move to chief of staff.

Cain, a former tabloid journalist, was head of broadcast for the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign, a role he held until the referendum result in June 2016. He then worked as a special adviser at Defra and later to Johnson during his time as Foreign Secretary.

Speaking to PRWeek in September, Cain said the Government Communication Service is "failing" and in need of a major "overhaul".

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