Wednesday 5 January 2011

Conservative reshuffle will help CCHQ and Downing Street

Paul Waugh has broken the story of a reshuffle in the Conservative press team. My old boss and friend Henry Macrory is moving from Downing Street to CCHQ with current head of media, Alan Sendorek, moving the other way.

To me this is a good move as Henry is a brilliant press and media handler with street fighting instincts of the first degree. I was lucky enough to work closely with Henry for a number of years and he taught me an awful lot. Unlike some press officers who revel in being marked down as a 'spin doctor', his ambition was to act more as an old fashioned information officer which won him the trust of all journalists. In the wake of years of Labour mis-informatioin and bullying this is a very powerful weapon in the Conservative armoury. There was a feeling that he was somewhat shackled by a role in Number 10. He will do well going up against Bob Roberts and Tom Baldwin in the battle of the Lobby.

Many thought Sendorek very harshly treated after the election. Having put the election campaign ahead of personal ambition - he volunteered to bolster David Cameron's press team meaning he was replaced as Michael Gove's key media adviser - he wasn't rewarded with a job in Downing Street. Subsequently he has led with energy and conviction a young but talented CCHQ press team, and was working hard to train and improve this team with limited resources. Alan has got good political instincts and, despite still only young, has considerable experience.

All in all, this is a good move that will get the very best for the Conservatives out of two of the genuine good guys working in political communications.  

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