David Cameron has hired the Sun’s deputy political editor Graeme Wilson as his new press secretary. The Spectator’s Coffee House reports that he will replace Gabby Bertin, who will become director of external relations when she returns from maternity leave. According to James Forsyth, she will be “responsible for forging – and maintaining Downing Street’s – relations with business, pressure groups and charities.” The well-regarded Wilson should help to improve Cameron’s relations with the press, which have suffered since the departure of Andy Coulson and his replacement by the broadcast-focused Craig Oliver.
After the hiring of Lynton Crosby as campaign manager in November 2012 and former Obama staffer Jim Messina as a campaign strategy adviser earlier this month, the appointments are further evidence of the Tories getting battle-ready for 2015. Labour is shortly due to recruit a deputy director of communications and a replacement for Tom Watson as campaign co-ordinator. But the appointments will add to the sense in Westminster that the Tories have stolen a march on Miliband’s party.