May’s media team have taken the strategic decision to manage the volume of May’s media appearances.
May’s media team have taken the strategic decision to manage the volume of May’s media appearances. They feel that David Cameron’s team were too keen to offer the Prime Minister’s view of too many issues.
We should expect fewer, but more substantive interventions and perhaps a less chummy relationship with newspaper editors.
Liz Sanderson’s role as Head of Features is an indication that the team will look for ways to connect the Prime Minster with voters beyond the political media, through profile pieces introducing the Prime Minister to voters and speaking directly to them and their everyday concerns rather than the obsessions of the Westminster Village.
Katie Perrior, Director of Communications
Perrior is a down to earth and highly respected media operator. She was a Conservative Party Press Officer for a few years before leaving to set up a PR business with another former Conservative staffer. One of their early contracts was to help Boris Johnson during his campaign for Mayor of London in 2008.
She has a strong understanding of the grassroots of the Conservative Party as well as an expertise in the Westminster media.
She served as Councillor in Bexley for 12 years. Last year she was appointed to the board of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, the body overseeing the construction of the flagship Garden City development.
Tom Swarbrick, Head of Broadcast
Swarbrick’s role will be to oversee the Prime Minister and the wider Government’s approach to the Broadcast media.
He has moved from LBC Radio, which he joined in June 2012 as chief correspondent and presenter. He was named National Journalist of the Year in 2014 Radio Academy Awards.
Prior to joining LBC, Swarbrick worked for the BBC as a radio producer and presenter at BBC Radio Oxford.
Lizzie Loudon, Political Press Secretary
Loudon has the crucial role of being the Prime Minister’s chief political press spokesperson, being the voice of Downing Street on any party political issue and supporting the Prime Minister when she undertakes media interviews.
Loudon was a civil servant in the Department for Work and Pensions press office before she became a Special Adviser to Iain Duncan Smith as Secretary of State. She followed Duncan Smith to the Leave Campaign during the EU referendum playing a key role in the campaign’s media team.
Richard Jackson MBE, Head of Operations, Events & Visits
Richard ‘Tricky’ Jackson has joined the Downing Street team to help manage the Prime Minister’s visits and media operations.
He previously worked for the Conservative Party where he was head of media operations during the 2015 general election. Arranging travel for David Cameron and the accompanying press pack, ensuring that the Prime Minister got over the message he wanted to make and the media got the pictures they wanted was never easy. Richard’s organisational skills, tenacity and good humour were therefore an important part of the 2015 campaign.
Jackson left politics to work in public affairs following the General Election, but was tempted back to work for the Remain campaign’s media team.
He will have a key role in arranging the Prime Minister’s photo calls, and managing the media during UK and overseas trips.
Liz Sanderson, Head of Features
A former Daily Mail journalist, Sanderson moved to the Home Office where she worked for May as a Special Adviser. An experienced features journalist, she has successfully delivered opportunities for Theresa May to talk to voters outside the prism of the political media. She will also act as the Press Secretary to the Prime Minister’s husband, Philip May.
Tim Smith, Press Secretary
Smith is a former Department for Transport Special Adviser and before that he worked in Conservative Campaign Headquarters. He will work with the Downing Street’s political and civil servant media team to focus on telling the Government’s story. He will have a particular focus on the regional and specialist media, outlets that voters trust and those that the Government is looking to influence.
For the key people in the Prime Minister’s team driving policy read our other blog here.
For the key people in the Prime Ministers strategy, political and external affairs teams read our other blog here.