Eileen Wise has been hired as head of news at Conservative Party Central
Office, with a self-proclaimed brief to ‘fight and win the election’.
Wise, who joins from the factual and current affairs department of ITV
company LWT, has been appointed to the pivotal post despite her lack of
experience in a General Election media campaign.
Charles Lewington, director of communications at Conservative Central
Office, said she had been hired for her ‘considerable experience within
the TV, newspaper and PR industries.’
Wise claims experience in Fleet Street, the BBC and LWT, as well as
spells in PR with Walt Disney Productions and Anglia TV. She has also
worked as PR manager for Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber and held a PR post with
the late Labour-supporting media magnate Robert Maxwell.
She insisted that there was no concern about her lack of national media
‘I have not campaigned for the Conservative Party before on the media
side, but I come from a traditional Tory family and I have been used to
campaigning locally from early childhood,’ she said.
Vanessa Ford, former head of news, gave up the role when she was
appointed to head up the office staff of Tory Party chairman Dr Brian
Mawhinney in November.
The appointment of Wise brings the head count at Central Office’s press
unit to 16, although the number is likely to reach 50 or more once the
General Election campaign gets into full swing.