NEWS: Andrews leaves BBC for own political shop

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.

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.’



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