Joey Jones, the former Sky political journalist, and media adviser to Theresa May when Home Secretary, is to be the new Head of Public Affairs at Weber Shandwick. He replaces David Skelton, who joined Google earlier this year.
Joey will lead the development of Weber Shandwick’s public affairs offer as the UK prepares for Brexit and Theresa May’s new Cabinet implements a wide-range of reforms across public services and the economy.
Commenting on the news, Jon McLeod, Chairman of Corporate, Financial and Public Affairs, said: “Joey’s track record in politics and the media is impressive. He brings precisely the mix of skills that Weber Shandwick is renowned for, as political communications embrace the multi-channel age.
“His understanding of the new political environment, together with his acuity in real-time written and broadcast communications will consolidate our position at the cutting edge of public affairs practice.”
Joey Jones said: “With its reputation with award-winning engagement campaigns, Weber Shandwick was the obvious choice for me. Politics has changed dramatically in 2016, with new people at the top with new agendas, and I look forward to providing my own perspective on those changes.
“My main focus will be working to develop Weber Shandwick’s public affairs offer as part of the company’s national and international network of integrated communications services.”
The bulk of Joey’s journalistic career was spent at Sky News, which he joined as a freelance reporter in 1999. Having joined the Westminster team in 2006, he soon became a respected correspondent, and was appointed Deputy Political Editor in 2010.
Having been assigned to David Cameron’s campaign in 2010, he co-authored with Adam Boulton “Hung Together” about the campaign and the subsequent formation of the coalition government. The book was described by Peter Oborne as “Pacy, well-written and excellently-sourced.”
Joey negotiated the pitfalls of 24-hour news with surefooted aplomb, authority and humour. He has a record of technical innovation, creating an instant “sports report” format for Prime Minister’s Questions and other major parliamentary set-piece events.
In the run-up to the 2015 election, he oversaw Sky News’ coverage of marginal constituencies – “In the Margins” – a series which Roger Mosey applauded in the New Statesman, writing it “lets viewers into his confidence about how grassroots reporting is done,” and “avoids the standard trap” of vox-pop driven pieces.
Joey left journalism following the 2015 election and in May 2016 was appointed as Spokesperson to the then Home Secretary, Theresa May. According to the Sun, his appointment demonstrated that Theresa May was “tooling up” for a leadership bid; the Telegraph viewed the move as “significantly boosting her backroom team” with a leadership move in the offing. And three months later, the Home Secretary was installed in Number Ten as Prime Minister.