Steve Howell takes comms job with Jeremy Corbyn

Written by David Singleton on 26 February 2017 in News

Liverpool-supporting lobbying agency boss will spin for embattled party leader.

Jeremy Corbyn has signed up Freshwater founder Steve Howell to be his deputy director of strategy and communications.

Howell is taking an indefinite leave of absence from his agency to take up the role with the Labour leader, according to insiders.

The Labour lobbyist and keen Liverpool fan will serve as deputy to Corbyn’s communication’s chief Seumas Milne, helping to oversee the leader’s media strategy and to implement the communications grid.

He confirmed the move on Twitter on Sunday evening, stating: “Looking forward to new job working with @JeremyCorbyn to challenge an economy rigged for rich and to support @UKLabour's politics of change.”

Howell founded Freshwater in Cardiff in 1997 after working as a news reporter and producer for BBC Radio Wales. The 19-strong public affairs and PR agency now has offices in Cardiff and London.

According to the APPC register, the firm's most recent lobbying clients include the multinational building materials company Tarmac and the personal injury lawyers Thomsons Solicitors. Freshwater also works with the All-Party Parliamentary Rail in the North Group.

It comes as Corbyn is facing fresh criticism after Labour lost the Copeland by-election to the Conservatives.

As Labour reconsiders its strategy in the wake of Copeland, Corbyn is also said to have hired the Unite veteran Niall Sookoo as his new executive campaign director. The Daily Mirror’s political editor Jack Blanchard said on Twitter that Sookoo had been brought in “to tighten up election messaging”.

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