LETTER: City Hall job cut threat a concern for industry

News of Boris Johnson slashing communications jobs at City Hall should send a shiver down every Whitehall press officer's spine (News, 9 May).

The Government Information and Communications Service, through which all Whitehall press officers are recruited, has swelled exorbitantly in the New Labour years. When I joined the Lord Chancellor's Department press office in 2002, there were about 15 staff.

When I left in 2005, there were well over 30 and it has continued to grow and develop countless branches. The same has happened all over the civil service.

Communications is vital to good government, but there are some who may suggest that the vast numbers involved simply end up overcomplicating matters and spend more time communicating with each other than with their audiences.

Everyone is watching Johnson very carefully for clues about the nature of a future Conservative Government. If he carries out his threat to slash jobs, this sector will have an early indication.

Richard Bailey, senior consultant, Media House International

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