Tom Kelly, Tony Blair’s former spin doctor, is due to start his new role as communications director at the Financial Services Authority on May 4, just two days before the general election.
Kelly, a former BBC journalist, is currently director of communications at BAA. He spent six years in Downing Street and succeeded Alastair Campbell as Blair’s official spokesman, holding the post from 2001 to 2007. He left when Gordon Brown took over as Prime Minister.
David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, has already revealed that he intends to scrap the FSA should the Tories gain power on May 6.
Kelly has had an eventful career. He had to publicly apologise in 2003 for referring to government weapons inspector David Kelly as a Walter Mitty character during a conversation with a journalist.
A Walter Mitty character is de-fined as “an ordinary, often ineffectual person who indulges in fantastic daydreams about personal triumphs”.
He also came under scrutiny in March 1998 when a document he prepared for then Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam disclosed plans for an unprecedented PR offensive to secure a yes vote in a referendum on the Good Friday agreement.
But Hector Sants. chief executive of the FSA, says: “Kelly’s breadth of communications experience will bring considerable strength as we take forward the priorities we laid out in our recent business plan.”
The regulator’s former director of communications John Murray quit last December after four years in the job.