Hain aide McCarthy quits to join new-look TfL team

Claire McCarthy, special ­adviser to Northern Ireland and Wales Secretary Peter Hain, is leaving to become one of three chief public ­affairs officers at Transport for London.

McCarthy takes up the post at TfL at the end of ­November, with a corporate brief. She will handle its ­preparedness for the Comprehensive Spending Review, raise the profile of ­commissioner Peter Hendy, and build momentum for ‘London 2025' - its 20-year vision for transport in the capital.

Jake Sumner has also joined as a chief PA officer, with a brief to gain government support for the proposed cross-London rail link Crossrail, and to handle London Underground issues. He previously worked for Camden Council.

Meanwhile, Jamie O'Hara has been promoted from senior press officer to chief PA officer. He is tasked with representing the body during the extension next February of the congestion charge in the west of the capital, and on general road transport issues.

All three report to head of government and stakeholder relations William Parkes.

They arrive amid TfL's ongoing search for external public affairs support. Parkes revealed it would be shortlisting agencies to pitch for work ‘in the next few weeks', with one or more contracts awarded around the turn of the year. He ­added that the investment in public affairs at TfL signalled its determination to ‘engage with key stakeholders'.

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