Hoon picks Connal as special adviser

Geoff Hoon, the Secretary of State for Defence, has appointed James Connal as his special adviser following the resignation of Richard Taylor last month.

Taylor had been in the role for three years but left soon after publication of the Hutton Report to join Portland PR as an account director (PRWeek, 6 February).

Connal, who said he joins at the end of March, is currently a business manager for Lord Dennis Stevenson, chairman of The Bank of Scotland and media firm Pearson. He is a former chairman of The Young Fabians.

Hoon’s position came under massive pressure just prior to the Government being cleared of responsibility over the death of Dr David Kelly, and he continues to face questions about WMD. This week Hoon hit the headlines again over his objection to Whitehall demands to cut defence spending.

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