BBC head of worldwide corporate affairs Leighton Andrews is leaving to
set up his own strategic political consultancy.
Andrews, who joined the corporation from lobbying firm Rowland
Sallingbury Casey three years ago, will leave at the end of October. He
declined to name his partners in the new consultancy, but said they
included several from the worlds of public affairs and politics.
The firm would, he said, differ from a traditional political consultancy
in that it would have few support staff, low overheads and a strong
commitment to new technology.
There will be no direct replacement for Andrews at the BBC - instead his
job will be split between European affairs manager Matteo Maggiore in
Brussels and parliamentary liaison officer Michael Hastings in the UK.
Andrews will also continue to provide a consultancy service ‘at a
strategic level’ to BBC director of corporate affairs Colin Browne.
Commenting on the timing of the announcement - which co-incides with a
major political row over the BBC’s plans for the future of the World
Service - Andrews denied there was any link and said he had always
envisaged returning to consultancy.
‘Colin has been aware of my plans since the end of last year,’ he said.
He added that the two major projects on which he has been working - the
Broadcasting Bill and the Charter renewal- were both now complete.
More recently he has been conducting an audit of the BBC’s marketing and
communications functions - part of a review prompted by the
corporation’s restucturing announced earlier this month.
Although this is understood to be unrelated to Andrew’s departure,
Browne confirmed that there would be some changes to the corporation’s
communications structure ‘over time’.
He declined to speculate on whether this would mean redundancies, but
added that: ‘The whole point is to see if we can organise ourselves more
effectively. We’re trying to do that in communications as well.’