Chancellor gets new spokesman

The Treasury has installed Chris Martin as the Chancellor’s official spokesman on economic and policy issues.

His appointment comes as Gordon Brown bids to stave off any backlash against his handling of the economy that would scupper his prime ministerial ambitions.

Martin, currently a senior civil servant with a non-comms role in the Treasury's finance and industry directorate, becomes head of comms on 15 May. He replaces Paul Kissack, who is taking a career break.

The role involves accompanying Brown on official meetings, plus briefing economic and political editors and the major broadcasters on economic policy.

Martin will work closely with Brown's special adviser Damian McBride, who deals with political matters.

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