Jefferson hires Deputy PM adviser and ex-aide

Jefferson Communications, the consultancy set up by former The Communication Group duo Anthony Painter and Ian Lindsley, has snapped up an existing and a former aide to Deputy PM John Prescott.

Ian McKenzie, special adviser to Prescott at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and Tony Sophiclides, Prescott’s former adviser at the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, are to join Jefferson as directors.

Jefferson provides advice on financial and corporate PR, as well as PA. Painter and Lindsley quit TCG a year ago to launch Jefferson with ex-M&G marketing director Jeffrey Mushens.

The fresh hires will take the consultancy’s headcount to five. Painter described the team as ‘a community of equals’.

McKenzie, who is one of Prescott’s three special advisers and who previously advised former leader of the House of Commons Anne Taylor, joins the consultancy in a full-time position next week, while Sophiclides – who was most recently a director at Grayling Political Strategy – will join on a part-time basis.

This week, Prescott’s son David abandoned his broadcast journalism career to join Grayling as an account director (PRWeek, 29 October). He previously worked for the BBC and GMTV.

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