News International appoints Boris Johnson's aide

Guto Harri will be head of communications at the company.

New Statesman
Photograph: Getty Images

Boris Johnson's former aide, Guto Harri, has been appointed as head of communications at News International.

He will try to rebuild the company's reputation after the hacking scandal. Harri stepped down as Johnson's director of external affairs on 8 May, after he won a second term as Mayor of London. He replaces Andrew Honnor who was holding the job in an interim position.

He said he was “delighted” to take the job, and aimed to correct some of the prejudice against the company in the media. In an interview with the Guardian, he said:
 

"Not every politician is corrupt, not every banker gets an enormous bonus and doesn't think they give a monkey's for anything, and not everyone who works at News International was involved in phone hacking

"I would not be joining this company myself if I thought that they condoned, and were actively involved in any of the practices that they have rightly been condemned for”

Harri was a journalist for 18 years, working as a BBC political correspondent, before a brief stint in PR, followed by four years as director of external affairs and spokesman for the Mayor of London.

The Telegraph reported that he turned down an offer from Downing Street to take the job for Rupert Murdoch. Andy Coulson confirmed at the Leveson inquiry earlier this month that Harri had been a possibility for the role in 2007.