A senior SNP Westminster staffer is to join Weber Shandwick’s Scottish public affairs team as account director in June.
Luke Skipper has been chief of staff of the SNP Westminster Group for the last eight years, working closely with the SNP leader at Westminster, Angus Robertson MP. Described by Channel 4 as the SNP’s Lynton Crosby, Luke has been deeply involved in the strategic planning behind recent SNP campaigns including the 2015 General Election landslide.
As chief of staff to the SNP group Luke was responsible for all media, research and policy development and coordinating and planning SNP political strategy on reserved matters, major stakeholder relations and liaison with Scottish Government. In addition he supported the development of the communication strategy and party policy on defence issues.
Commenting on the appointment, Moray Macdonald, managing director of Weber Shandwick in Scotland, said: “Luke’s appointment sees us build our cross-party public affairs consultancy at an exciting time for Scottish politics.
“Scotland and the SNP look set to be at the centre of UK politics for the next five years and in less than a year’s time we go back to the polls to elect a new Parliament at Holyrood. As more powers are devolved to Scotland the need for business to engage with the Parliament and Scottish Government will increase, Luke’s insight and experience will be crucial as we guide clients through our new political landscape.”
Weber Shandwick in Scotland now has senior consultants with backgrounds from all four of the major Scottish parties ensuring that clients have access to the best insight and expertise whatever political communication challenge they face.
Luke Skipper said: “I’m hugely excited about working with Weber Shandwick, an agency that I have long admired from my role in Parliament.
“The team is leading the way in public affairs and communications in Scotland. I look forward to drawing on my previous experience to deepen insight and engagement with Scottish politicians and influencers at both Holyrood and Westminster.”
Luke has been chief of staff of the SNP Westminster Group to the SNP Group since 2007. Prior to that he was head of research for the group of MPs and also worked in the Scottish Parliament when the SNP were in opposition there.
Luke is Canadian by birth from Kincardine, Ontario. He holds a master’s degree in International and European politics from the University of Edinburgh.
Weber Shandwick has Scottish offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. www.webershandwick.scot
For insight on politics and elections in Scotland visit Weber Shandwick’s Scottish election website www.scotlandvotes.com