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FSA appoints Tony Blair’s former spin doctor

The Financial Services Authority has appointed Tom Kelly, a former spin doctor for Tony Blair as its new communications director.

Kelly joins from BAA, where he has been director of communications since 2007.

A former BBC journalist, his previous civil service roles also include communications director at the Northern Ireland Office and Prime Minister’s official spokesman.

Kelly spent six years in Downing Street and had to publicly apologise for referring to government weapons inspector David Kelly as “a Walter Mitty character” during a private discussion with a journalist.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a Walter Mitty as “an ordinary, often ineffectual person who indulges in fantastic daydreams of personal triumphs”.

He also came under scrutiny in March 1998 when a document he prepared for the then Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam disclosed plans for an unprecedented PR offensive to secure a Yes vote in the referendum on the Good Friday agreement.

He will take up his new role on 4 May and report to the FSA’s chief executive, Hector Sants.

Sants, says: “I am pleased to welcome Tom Kelly to the FSA’s senior management team. His breadth of communications experience will bring considerable strength to the organisation as we take forward the priorities we have laid out in our recent business plan.”

The FSA’s former director of communications John Murray quit in December after four years in the job.



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  • Derek Martinez 8th April 2010 at 2:02 pm

    That’s just we need, more spin and obfuscation. The FSA’s attempts to oust brokers from the market are akin to that bus driver trying to turf Rosa Parks out of her seat. We need Maggie T back to sort out this mess

  • Remi Keeble 7th April 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Darn it, I had money on a certain ex-employee of Abbey (not) for Intermediaries bagging the job.

    Oh well, as long as the new entrant is going to be positively focused on the fair treatment of brokers, I’m happy.

    Nurse, where’s my tablets: they’ve run out?

  • Chris Wall 7th April 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Almost unbeleivable but then again not. A nice sinecure for a discredited professional liar. sounds ideally suited to peddle the rubbish produced by the FSA

  • Len 7th April 2010 at 12:11 pm

    If the FSA has taken this guy on a contract that lasts longer than 6 months
    at a time, then if as hopefully the Conservatives get control at the next election (and they keep their word) and disband the FSA then we need not worry about redundancy or compensation, if however they have given him a 2/3/5 year contract then it should be regarded as a deliberate attempt to defraud and they should be persued and prosecuted

  • Roger Smith 7th April 2010 at 11:28 am

    It speaks volumes for the FSA. They dont know what to say, so employ someone who knows even less to say it for them. Who is paying for his salary and the persons who agreed this?????

  • Colin 7th April 2010 at 10:01 am

    One day the FSA may actually employ some one who knows about our industry and how it works.

  • salil chaudhari 7th April 2010 at 8:35 am

    So potentially he will be in the job for a few months if as labour lose the election and his employment contract is shredded. Now that would be really cutting public sector waste.

  • Arun Desai 6th April 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Great. This is all we need. More spin doctors. Just hope that the Tories get in and disembowel the FSA! This appointment, and organisation, can be classified as ‘WASTE’, which can be eliminated.

  • Mike the mortgage broker 6th April 2010 at 4:32 pm

    If the Conservatives win the election and disband the FSA are we going to be paying his director’s contract without him doing a days work?
    What sort of person takes a job like this knowing that the job could disappear within weeks?

  • Adrian Tanner 6th April 2010 at 4:30 pm

    It is good to know that the FSA has brought in another overpaid executive to apply the whitewash to this appallingly inept organisation

  • John O'Hearne 6th April 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Hopefully the new governement will see sense and get rid of this failed institute and its high salaried none jobs!

  • David Booth 6th April 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Oh well! Here we go again someone else who can make a packet out of relaying the garbage the FSA come out with

  • John Tidswell 6th April 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Sounds like another nice little job for the boys with a nice big fat salary to accompany it.

    Good work if you can get it, so congratulations. Good to see our FSA fees are going to a worthy cause!

  • Dave Doncaster 6th April 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Oh good, yet another person paid for by exhorbatant fees the FSA charge hard working brokers, to squander and not be able to do a proper job. Least this time they should be able to come out with better excuses for being inept and categorically useless and the biggest waste of time!! Roll on Santa Claus being brought in by the FSA soon to try and improve their image……… that will ever happen!! disband and admit your faults. Let a proper run company do what you have always failed to do.

  • John Reid 6th April 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Yet another high paid waste of space – at least they are keeping all the ‘old boys’ network in well paid jobs.

  • Roland Millward 6th April 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Fantastic – this is all we need from the FSA. Stand by for action! Will there be more apologies to come? This just shows that the FSA is made of people in the ‘loop’ not because they are good at what they do!

  • Danny Lovey 6th April 2010 at 4:08 pm

    That was close timing – a job for one of the boys of the new Labour cronies ahead of the election