Portland hires former Michael Gove adviser

Portland has hired Henry Cook, a former adviser to Michael Gove, as associate director in its Brexit unit.


Henry Cook

Before joining Portland, Cook was special adviser to Gove for four years. He played a role in the Department for Education, the Government Chief Whip’s Office and, most recently, the Ministry of Justice. Cook also worked as chief adviser to Michael Gove during the Vote Leave campaign, and was his spokesman and lead media adviser from January 2014.

Cook will report to Portland partner Victoria Dean, who joined the agency in November 2016 to lead its Brexit unit. The unit was launched in July last year.

Dean said of Cook’s appointment: “We’re thrilled to welcome Henry to the Portland team. He brings a strong understanding of the workings of Government as well as political insight into the Brexit process and the personalities involved, which will help our clients to understand how they can play a role in shaping Britain’s post-Brexit future.”

Other recent hires to Portland’s Brexit unit include associate directors James Starkie and Amy Richards. Starkie joined from the Vote Leave campaign, where he was head of regional press, and Richards joined from Britain Stronger in Europe, where she worked as national press office manager.

Cook added: “Portland has a strong reputation for strategic consultancy. It was also among the first to establish a Brexit unit and I look forward to working with my new colleagues to deliver the very best in advice for clients in this area.”

Portland is an Omnicom Group PR agency.

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