Media leaks prompt MoD comms revamp

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has overhauled its comms department following a review ordered by Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon.

The move is believed to be in response to a number of embarrassing leaks to the media (PRWeek, 26 March), but an MoD spokesman said the shake-up was designed to respond to the media better.

The MoD press office came under intense scrutiny in the run-up to the publication of the Hutton Report.

The former Directorate General of Corporate Communications has been renamed Directorate General of Media and Communications (DGMC) and boasts more senior military staff than previously. Operating under

the director-general of media and communications

Ian Lee, the former department was split into three: the Royal Air Force, the Navy and the Army.

These have been scrapped and replaced by four departments: news, community and internal comms, comms planning and management, and defence publicity.

Pam Teare remains in her post as head of news, but new appointments include Air Commodore Mike Lloyd as director of the defence publicity directorate. The former head of comms planning, David Howard, is now director of communications planning and management, and former director of corporate comms services Chris Williams is now director of community and internal comms.

The shake-up was aimed at bringing the press office structure into line with the rest of the MoD.

The director of corporate comms for the Army was Brigadier Matthew Sykes, head of Navy comms was Commodore Alan Adair and head of RAF comms was Air Commander Paul Thomas, all of whom have been redeployed at the MoD. The new structure was put into place last month.

Lee replaced Tony Pawson who, it is understood, has become deputy chief of defence intelligence. Lee was formerly operational policy director-general.

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