Connect swoops for Sawford

Connect Communications owner Gill Morris has appointed former Corby MP, Andy Sawford, as the agency’s new Chief Executive.

Sawford is a well-known figure in the public affairs world, having previously been a Director of Connect and Chief Executive of the LGIU.  Morris moved quickly following the election to bring Sawford back to Connect in a leading role to support the expansion of the agency.

Gill Morris said Sawford had been one of her best hires in the past and she was keen to reform a winning partnership. Sawford will work closely with Morris who will take on a new role as Executive Chairman at Connect. Together they will work to grow Connect and Gill will continue to focus on developing new markets and strengthening Connect’s reputation with clients in the nations and regions of the UK. Sawford will be part of the new executive team with Connect Directors, Sarah King and Laura Blake, who will carry on leading the company’s day-to-day operations.

Sawford was previously at Connect from 2004 to 2008 and led award winning campaigns, such as his work to stop the forced mergers of police forces. Sawford eventually went client-side when he became Chief Executive of the LGIU, a membership body and thinktank. He later became MP for Corby in November 2012 at a by-election but the seat reverted to the Conservatives at this year’s General Election.  During his time in Parliament, Sawford was Shadow Minister for Local Government and Cities, led for the opposition on Bills and other legislation, served on the CLG Select Committee and was active in a range of All Party Groups, where he maintained his strong reputation for cross-party working.

Gill Morris said: “Andy brings to Connect a wealth of experience and a great track record. We are all very excited about working with him again. He will really strengthen our team and help me take Connect forward to bigger and better things. We have a top team at Connect with unrivalled experience and vision. Connect already has a proud and award winning reputation in delivering high level public affairs strategies and communications for clients. Andy’s return to Connect makes us a force to be reckoned with as we expand beyond Westminster to the north of England where Connect already has clients and a strong reputation”.

Andy Sawford said: “I have kept in close touch with Gill, Sarah, Laura and the team throughout my time in the thinktank world and more recently in Parliament and I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to return to work with them as CEO. Connect is a great company, in my view it is the best in the business and is primed for even greater success and growth in the years ahead”.

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