Osborn starts next week as director, having recently become the latest in a long line of senior figures to quit Citigate (PRWeek, 11 May). He said he had chosen to join Butler Kelly due to its ‘blend of experience and youth’.
Butler was Conservative MP for the constituency of Warrington South from 1987 to 1992, when he lost his seat by 191 votes.
Before entering Parliament, he was employed as a political secretary at 10 Downing Street.
Kelly was an adviser to the Labour shadow cabinet, and edited the left-wing Tribune newspaper. He is also a former deputy Leader of Islington Borough Council.
The pair set up Butler Kelly in 1998. They also employ former Conservative MPs Hugo Summerson and David Nicholson as consultant and senior consultant respectively.
Kelly said: ‘We are going for expansion – various new appointments and new clients will be announced in the coming weeks.
‘We are an established company, but perhaps we are also a well-kept secret. Rex has joined us in order to supervise this period of growth and to raise Butler Kelly’s profile.’
Osborn, a Labour councillor, was made MD of Citigate last year. Before joining the company he spent nine years working for the Labour Party, rising to the position of deputy head of campaigns and Westminster strategy.