London Assembly brings in radio editor to lead comms

The London Assembly has snared the political editor of radio station LBC to oversee its comms team.

Mark Demery arrives at a crucial time for the assembly, which is lobbying for additional powers. He worked at the broadcaster for 12 years.

The assembly, which represents 25 elected members, is seeking greater scrutiny of the Mayor's policies, in line with Ken Livingstone's own bid for additional powers in the capital.

As head of external relations – his first PR role – Demery now has the potential to influence policy in the capital.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is currently considering extending the Mayor's legislative powers to cover planning, waste and education as part of its devolution agenda.

But the assembly – which exists to monitor the Mayor's policies – wants extra clout to ensure a better balance of power between
itself and the Mayor's Office.

'The additional tools we are asking for will provide more engagement on policy between the Mayor and the assembly members,' said Demery.

He effectively takes over from former head of media relations Edward Welsh, who joined the Local Government Association last summer in the role of media and campaigns programme director (PRWeek, 20 May 2005). Welsh now steers the LGA's Reputation Project.

In addition to lobbying, Demery takes responsibility for stakeholder relations, strategy and campaigns, overseeing a three-strong press team. Assembly interim media chief Jim Chrystie reviewed the role after Welsh's departure, widening its brief.

Demery reports to the assembly's director of the secretariat Mark Roberts.

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