MHP pounces for Lyons in latest Bigg hire by 'ambitious' CEO
Jamie Lyons and James Gurling become joint heads of public affairs.
MHP Communications has brought in former lobby journalist and Bell Pottinger partner Jamie Lyons to boost its public affairs offer.
Lyons will line up alongside current MHP managing director and seasoned Liberal Democrat operator James Gurling as joint head of public affairs.
He spent six years as deputy political editor of the News of the World before heading into lobbying at Tetra Strategy in 2011. More recently Lyons was a partner and deputy managing director of Bell Pottinger Political, where his clients included Centrica, TSB, TalkTalk and Waitrose.
"MHP is a first-rate agency with excellent people doing outstanding work. It also has a renewed sense of ambition and dynamism which makes it a hugely exciting time to be joining," he said in a statement announcing the move.
At the same time, MHP has also appointed former Bell Pottinger partner Andy Bloxham as the new head of its corporate practice.
The move represents a splitting of MHP's public affairs and corporate specialisms, although they will continue to work together on accounts when relevant. The corporate and public affairs teams were previously headed up by chief operating officer Jonathan Lomax, who recently left the agency in a shock departure.
A MHP spokesperson said the new appointments were part of a drive by CEO Alex Bigg to "better define MHP’s offering and strengthen its position in the market" and that "they reflect his ambition for the agency".
Since Bigg joined MHP from Edelman last year, he has also brought in Nick Barron from Edelman as deputy CEO and Mike Robb from Cicero Consulting as head of financial services.
Bigg said: "I’m delighted that Jamie and Andy are joining us. They both have first-class reputations for doing work of the highest quality and will define our corporate and public affairs offering. I believe these hires are a real statement of intent about my ambition for the business.
"Following a successful summer in terms of client wins, we are building an industry-leading strategic communications consultancy and these hires represent a significant milestone in this process."