Pagefield brings in former Sunday Express editor Martin Townsend
Has the PR and public affairs firm has further shored up its pro-Brexit credentials?
Pagefield has hired the former editor of the Sunday Express as a partner advising clients across all sectors.
Martin Townsend makes the move out of journalism after 40 years in the trade. A former editor of OK! magazine, he became Sunday Express editor in 2001 and left earlier this year following a major editorial shake-up.
In 2015, he was the ghost writer of Express owner Richard Desmond's autobiography, which received a glowing five star review- from The Daily Express.
“I am hugely excited to be joining the brilliant team at Pagefield, the most effective and forward-thinking agency in the business,” said Townsend in a statement non the new job. “I bring with me a wealth of experience, contacts and enthusiasm gleaned from the unique perspective of national newspaper and magazine editorships. I can’t wait to get started!”
The Daily Express has been a staunch supporter of Brexit, with 2016 headlines such as: £600M A WEEK BREXIT BONUS FOR NHS.
While most UK public affairs chiefs are opposed to Brexit, Townsend could be at home at the agency set up by Mark Gallagher if he really believes in his old paper’s editorial lines. Gallagher is known in the public affairs industry as a right wing Conservative who is strongly behind Brexit.
Last year, Pagefield hired Boris Johnson’s special adviser Liam Parker as a partner.
Pagefield chief executive Oliver Foster said: “The past year has seen the Pagefield family enjoy significant growth and undertake a number of exciting new challenges including the launch of both Pagefield Sport and Pagefield Brands, as well as launching our sister agency, Pagefield Global – specialists in disputes and crisis.
“As the Pagefield family welcomes our biggest ever single batch of brilliant new talent we’re all looking forward to 2019 with much anticipation – a year in which we will continue to bolster our Brands, Sport and financial communications work, alongside the corporate PR and public affairs campaigning which has run right through our bloodstream since we opened our doors in 2010”.
Pagefield has also appointed Dr David Bull and Laurence Jones as specialist partners.