Lib Dem leader appoints Darbari as criticism mounts

Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat leader, has hired a new press secretary as he comes under increasing fire.

Puja Darbari, an account director at The Forster Company, will start work in July – almost four months after the
65-year-old replaced Charles Kennedy as party leader. The appointment comes as Campbell faces criticism from the party’s  rank-and-file and the press, particularly over his performance at PMQs.

Lib Dem director of policy and comms David Norman described Darbari’s role as ‘the main liaison point between the leader and the media’. But he said it differed from that of Jackie Rowley, Kennedy’s former press secretary, in being more closely integrated into the party’s overall comms.

Darbari’s experience in PR includes a stint as research and senior comms officer for the
party. Alison Suttie, a Lib Dem employee in Brussels, is also set to join Campbell’s team, as head of office.
Until July, Campbell’s PR will be handled by Norman Lamb MP press head Mark Littlewood.


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