BICOM signs up Prince Charles' media aide

The British and Israel Communications Centre (BICOM) has raided the Labour Party and Clarence House in order to strengthen its media and campaigns teams.

BICOM: promotes awareness
BICOM: promotes awareness

The body, which acts to promote awareness of Israel and the Middle East in the UK, has brought in Clarence House press officer Ben Overlander as head of media.

He moves after three years at Clarence House, where he has had specific res­ponsibility for promoting Prince Charles’ work to imp­rove relations between different faith communities in the UK. Prior to Clarence House, Simpson was a press officer at Shelter.

Meanwhile, Labour’s head of corporate campaigns Paul Simpson will join the Stop the Boycott campaign, jointly run by BICOM, as head of field operations. The campaign seeks to overturn the recent Israel boycott motion against Israeli academics passed by the University and College Union (UCU). It will work with UCU members nationwide to galvanise opinion, and students who disagree with the boycott.

Simpson will attempt to build on the campaign’s existing support in the regions, within the UCU and the wider academic community.

BICOM has also hired Jeremy Lucas as a press off­icer. He is a former producer for BBC and Sky News.

CEO Lorna Fitzsimons said: ‘We want to be known for employing the best people – Jewish and non-Jewish – and we think we have. This is part of a continuing programme to ensure that we continue to improve the perception of Israel in the UK.’

BICOM has set up a new office in Jerusalem run by Jonathan Cummings, and hired Richard Pater as head of public affairs in Israel.

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