Lib Dems' Oates leaves for agency

The Liberal Democrats' comms chief is quitting the party and returning to his previous employer.

Jonathan Oates
Jonathan Oates

Jonny Oates is to return to Bell Pottinger Public Affairs after just 15 months with the Liberal Democrats.

Oates insisted his decision was not linked to leader Nick Clegg's failure to make a significant impact on the polls, claiming the party was in 'robust shape'.

Recent polls have put the Lib Dems between 16 per cent and 20 per cent.

Rather, Oates said his decision came after Gordon Brown's recent 'disasters' meant a general election was unlikely to take place before 2010.

'A 2010 election is three and a half years longer than the scenario I had in mind,' he said.

Oates will move to Bell Pottinger in October as strategic media director.

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