Cabinet Office offers £118k for ‘exceptionally talented’ news chief

The head of news will set the Cabinet Office’s media relations strategy
The successful candidate will be "an exceptionally talented communications professional with skills in dealing with the full range of media outlets”

By Tevye Markson

17 Jan 2022

The Cabinet Office is offering up to £117,8000 for a "first-rate media relations operator" with to lead its media team.

The head of news and external affairs will primarily work with the press office, which operates 24/7 for eight ministers and is also responsible for media relations for cabinet secretary Simon Case and civil service chief executive Alex Chisholm.

Alex Aiken, executive director for government communications, posted the role on Twitter, writing: “It’s a fascinating and high-profile role covering a range of issues from our Covid response to cyber security and government efficiency.”

As well as leading the media team, the head of news will:

  • Act as press secretary for Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay
  • Lead an external affairs team that organises ministerial visits and engagements
  • Head up the specialist Rapid Response Unit that works across government to identify and counter harmful narratives on social media

The head of news will set the Cabinet Office’s media relations strategy, “confidently providing robust advice to ministers and senior leaders and executing communications plans to a demonstrably high standard”.

The candidate “must be an exceptionally talented communications professional with skills in dealing with the full range of media outlets”, the job description says.

They must have "excellent news sense, spot-on judgement, acute political savvy and first-rate writing skills".

The role is described as a “unique position which provides exposure to a range of high-profile and sensitive issues, including for example, the government’s coronavirus response, national cyber security, supply chains, veterans’ affairs and government efficiency and reform”.

Applications for the role, which is based in London and comes with a salary of between £71,000 and £117,800, close on 30 January.

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