Names emerge for Cherie PR task

Speculation is mounting as to who will handle PR for Cherie Blair, rumoured to be seeking media relations support.

So far, Ian Monk Associates’s eponymous founder, who handles PR for the Prime Minister’s wife’s friend and style guru Carole Caplin, former Prince of Wales adviser Mark Bolland and Bell Pottinger consultant Shimon Cohen have all been linked with the role.

While Bolland said no approach had been made, he refused to comment as to whether he would take the role if offered, saying: ‘I don’t want to go down that route.’

Monk has also declined to comment, but friends said he is not interested in the brief. Cohen was unavailable for comment as PRWeek went to press.

Downing Street this week sought to play down speculation that Mrs Blair is seeking PR support. A spokeswoman said: ‘That’s untrue. A lot of people claim to be Downing Street sources.’

Meanwhile, a legal battle is looking likely between Caplin and hatch-group, the firm that used to represent Caplin and which Monk left earlier this year.

Monk, who retains Caplin as a client, is claiming hatch is withholding £11,500 owed to her for a Mail on Sunday interview and broadcasts for LBC, both negotiated by hatch.

Hatch CEO Michael Murphy says the money is being held back as Caplin allegedly owes more for work carried out under a separate contract, which was signed by her former lover Peter Foster.

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