Murphy continues Scottish Labour rebuilding with appointment of Better Together Chief

21st January, 2015 8:14 am

Blair McDougall – the head of the pro-union Better Together campaign – has been appointed by Jim Murphy as Scottish Labour’s new Head of Policy and Strategy. McDougall, who had been working with the party informally since Murphy was elected leader, will be working on the party’s forward offer through to the general election and the Scottish election next year. His past experience includes being a special adviser to Ian McCartney (2004-2007) and James Purnell (2007-2008), as well as being a key figure in David Miliband’s leadership campaign (as was Murphy) and being national director of tMovement for Change before taking on the Better Together role.

We’re sure his appointment will delight “the 45%”…

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McDougall’s appointment isn’t the only significant staff hire that Scottish Labour have confirmed overnight though. Susan Dalgety – formerly Chief Press Officer for Lord McConnell during much of his period as First Minister (and former deputy leader of Edinburgh Council) – is joining the party as Scottish Labour’s Director of Communications. And Gregor Poynton, formerly of Blue State Digital, is moving from Portland Communications to work on External Engagement for the party. In particular, Poynton (who was a candidate in the ill-fated Falkirk selection) will be working on the party’s social media strategy.

This comes soon after the appointment of John McTernan as Murphy’s Chief of Staff and Brian Roy as Scottish Labour’s new General Secretary, as the new Scottish Labour leader seeks to revamp Scottish Labour’s staff team ahead of the election(s) to come.

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