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Tories beef up CCHQ media operation

Tim Montgomerie

Screen shot 2011-01-05 at 09.23.38 News reaches me that Henry Macory (on the left of the photo above) will be retuning to Conservative HQ to run the media unit. His official title will be Deputy Political Director. Henry, who has been at Downing Street since the election is one of the party's most experienced operators and is hugely respected by journalists. Once at the Daily Star and Express Henry was chief press adviser to Oliver Letwin before running the news team at CCHQ under Andy Coulson. Back at CCHQ he'll work on supercharging the party's media operations against Labour. Political operations are overseen by Oliver Dowden, Political Director, and Douglas Smith. A standing committee of rottweiler MPs from the 2010 intake was recently assembled by the Chief Whip to help prosecute this team's work.

QPR-supporting Alan Sendorek will move from CCHQ to Number 10 to work with Gabby Bertin in briefing the lobby on the Prime Minister's activities. Alan was an accomplished press spokesman for Mr Cameron before the election.

The additional person that the Tory operation still needs is a chief aide to Andy Coulson, who enjoys the PM's confidence, who can 'chat' to starving commentators about party and Coalition strategy. The alternative is to be more relaxed about existing aides talking to the press. I recently identified this as the key weakness of 'Operation Coulson'.

By way of footnote a big congratulations to Henry who became engaged on New Year's Eve. He met his new love on a blind date in November 2009!


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