The Week in Lobbying

- Gardant Communications has hired Sovereign Strategy UK managing director Rory O'Neill as a partner. Before joining Sovereign in 2005, O'Neill was parliamentary affairs manager at British Nuclear Fuels. He starts the new role next week.

- Diageo group corporate relations director Michael Patten has been made the drinks firm's global public policy director. He will be responsible for spearheading the company's global public policy and government affairs agenda.

- AstraZeneca has appointed Royal Bank of Scotland lobbyist Dan Evans as government relations and external affairs manager. Evans will report to head of government relations and external affairs Pete Digger.

- Policy Exchange has taken on Google PRO Amy Fisher as director of communications. Fisher, a former Tory Party press officer, replaces James Bethell at the right-of-centre think-tank. Bethell has left less than three months after joining from Portland PR.

- The Russell Group of Universities has appointed its first head of comms. Jonathan Ray, until recently director of public affairs and comms at the University of Nottingham, starts the role this week.

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