The Cabinet Office is offering up to £120,000 for the prime minister’s next spokesperson – a role that opened up amid a chaotic No.10 comms reshuffle last month.
A job advert posted yesterday calls for an “organised, strategic” operator with “strong and concise communication skills” to replace James Slack, the former Daily Mail political editor who is being promoted to director of communications at Downing Street after nearly four years in the role.
Slack is replacing Lee Cain, who resigned last month after first being offered a promotion to the newly-created role of chief of staff to the PM. Slack’s promotion takes him out of the civil service and into a special adviser role.
The staffing changes at No.10 – which also include the exit of Johnson's top political aide, Dominic Cummings – come amid a shake-up of government communications, which will include limits on the number of comms roles each department can have and televised Downing Street media briefings.
The spokesperson will manage Downing Street’s relationship with the political and parliamentary media including holding lobby briefings and foreign press briefings.
They will also provide “trusted media advice” to the prime minister and his wider political team, and help to lead and advise on the government’s media strategy across Whitehall.
They will be part of the No.10 communications team, which is responsible for helping the prime minister communicate the government’s policies to parliament, the public and internationally.
They will set the “direction and strategy” for briefing press on behalf of the prime minister and develop a range of media strategies, making use of “digital, direct, regional and non-news media channels”.
They will report to Slack and co-lead the Downing Street media team with its head of news, government comms veteran Jamie Davies.
Within government, the successful candidate will help lead and support No.10’s comms work with other government departments.
The civil service post comes with a pay packet of between £92,000 and £120,000.
“The demands of the post are high and will appeal to a very experienced and confident media operator who enjoys working with senior ministers, political advisers, officials and journalists. Someone who would enjoy the challenge of daily Westminster lobby briefings has a strong grasp of foreign and domestic policy issues and has a proven track record of leading a high-performing team,” the job ad said.