Weber Shandwick has appointed former Conservative parliamentary candidate and blue chip consultant David Skelton to lead its public affairs practice.
Skelton, who has worked in politics, policy development and public service reform for over a decade, is to join the PR firm in May.
He previously spent seven years at PA consultanting providing strategic advice at board level to businesses, universities, police forces and the NHS, before joining Policy Exchange as deputy director and head of research.
In 2013 he founded think tank Renewal, with the aim of broadening the appeal of the Conservative Party.
Commenting on the new hire, Jon McLeod, chairman, UK corporate, financial and public affairs at Weber Shandwick said: "David's appointment reaffirms our commitment to cross-party public affairs consultancy at a time when the political scene will remain fluid for the foreseeable future."
Skelton added that he was "hugely excited" about working with the consultancy "to help clients respond to unique public policy challenges in uncertain times”.