President Macron has chosen Frédéric Michel – former advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair and associate of Rupert Murdoch’s son James – as his new special advisor for communication and strategy.
As an expert in crisis management, Mr Michel has been hired in a bid to communicate with people in France about the actions being taken by the Elysée, as well as to explain the link between domestic and international policies, and strengthen diplomatic relations with Europe, reported Le Journal du Dimanche today.
He will also be one of the President’s main links to the press.
Mr Michel is from Poitiers, and was educated at Sciences Po in Bordeaux and the London School of Economics. He quickly rose through the ranks of New Labour and its think tanks, and created the Policy Network group (a centre-left policy reform group) for Mr Blair.
He also created his own ‘corporate reputation’ agency - earning him his own reputation as something of a ‘spin doctor’ – and was once chief UK lobbyist for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp during the controversial Leveson inquiry into press ethics and behaviour.
He was forced to resign after a scandal erupted when the Leveson inquiry published a report showing private exchanges with then Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
He later formed links with James Murdoch, Rupert’s eldest son.
James Murdoch has publicly moved away from his father and instead taken on environmental and social issues. After leaving NewsCorp in 2020, James launched an environmental campaign with Mr Michel, in a bid to raise awareness of the future of the planet’s oceans and responsible consumption.
They also established private investment vehicle Lupa Systems, based in New York and Mumbai, to invest in arts and culture, and to fight against fake news. It also works on life sciences, education, and the influence of tech on geopolitics.
Lupa Systems is an investor in French media company Brut, and Mr Michel is also a board member at French newspaper Les Inrocks.
Mr Michel replaces Quitterie Lemaison, who was a temporary replacement for former presidential communications advisor Clément Léonarduzzi, who was in the post for two years.
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