McNally bows out at WS after Lords election win

Lord Tom McNally is stepping down as non-executive vice-chairman of Weber Shandwick after 11 years with the agency, following his election as leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords last week.

The move is likely to see him relinquish his last remaining public affairs client The Corporation of London, whose director of PR Tony Halmos said he would discuss with McNally the ‘practicality and feasibility’ of the relationship.

McNally has advised the corporation throughout his tenure at WS, where he

also counselled The Crown Estate and the Tunisian Information Bureau.

McNally, previously deputy leader of the Lib Dems in the Lords, was elected unopposed as leader last week, succeeding Baroness Shirley Williams. He assumes the post on 23 November, the day of the Queen’s Speech.

He was elected Labour MP for Stockton South in 1979 before crossing the floor to join the newly formed SDP in 1981, but lost his seat in 1983. He joined Hill & Knowlton in 1987 as director of PA before joining Shandwick Public Relations in 1993, later becoming vice-chairman of WS.

McNally said: ‘It became my second-choice career after I lost my seat but I have had a terrific time in PR.’

WS UK & Ireland chief executive Colin Byrne said there was a chance McNally would retain a role aiding WS’s business in the North.

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