APCO hires ex-Blair aide Rahman for director role

APCO has hired an aide to former prime minister Tony Blair, as the consultancy looks to rebuild following a string of recent departures.

Rahman: associate director
Rahman: associate director

Razi Rahman joins next month as associate director, having spent seven years as assistant political secretary at 10 Downing Street.

He is believed to be the first Blair advisor to move in to public affairs as a result of Blair’s exit from Downing Street last month. It is understood that he was lured to APCO by the consultancy’s incoming UK MD Darren Murphy, who also used to work for Blair.

While at Number 10, Rahman was responsible for advising the prime minister on political, policy, legislative and Labour Party matters. He also focused on community relations and led on Number 10’s work on tackling extremism in Muslim communities following the 9/11 and 7/7 bombings.

In particular, he was instrumental in drafting the government-wide plan on community engagement and ethnic media engagement.

In 2005, Rahman narrowly missed out on being selected as the Labour candidate for the safe seat of Brent South. Prior to working for Blair, he was a qualified solicitor.

At APCO, he will report to director Matt Browne. In the last few months the agency has been hit by the departure of associate manager Andrew Escott, directors Nick Sutcliffe and Darren Murphy, and – most recently - UK MD Simon Miller. Earlier this month, PRWeek revealed that the consultancy was bringing back Darren Murphy to replace Miller (PRWeek, 6 July).

Murphy rejoins the agency on 22 August after seeing out his notice period at current employer AstraZeneca. Before joining APCO the first time around, Murphy was Blair’s special adviser for political communications.

‘It’s a real win to recruit Razi,’ he said. ‘I can’t think of anyone else that I’ve worked with both inside and outside of government with a more profound understanding of what makes politicians tick.’

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