Darren Murphy is the chief executive of Centreground Political Communications. He spent eight years as a special adviser in Tony Blair’s New Labour government, including as political communications adviser to the Prime Minister, working inside government as well as on Labour’s successful 1997, 2001 and 2005 campaigns. After leaving the government, before forming Centreground Political Communications, he spent six years as a political consultant, specialising in services to governments, advising heads of state and government, party and political leaders in Europe, Africa and Asia on political strategy, elections, campaigns and strategic communications.
Jonathan Powell was Chief of Staff to Tony Blair from 1995 to 2007. From 1997 to 2007 he was also the Chief British Negotiator on Northern Ireland. He is now CEO of Inter Mediate an NGO working on conflict resolution. From 1978-79 he was a broadcast journalist with the BBC and Granada TV and from 1979 to 1994 a British Diplomat.
Razi Rahman is a director and company secretary of Centreground Political Communications. He was Assistant Political Secretary to Prime Minister Tony Blair between 2000 and 2007, advising the Prime Minister on a wide range of party and government matters. Prior to working at Downing Street he was a litigation lawyer. He has more than 20 years of national and local election campaign experience, including on-the-ground organisation. Since 2007 he has been a political consultant.
Adrian McMenamin is a director of Centreground Political Communications. He played senior roles in all three of Tony Blair’s UK general election victories, including running New Labour’s ground-breaking opposition research effort in 1997 and as Chief Press and Broadcasting Officer in 2005. He has been a consultant to numerous campaigns ranging from the SDLP 2003 assembly election campaign, as press secretary to the UK’s socialist delegation to the European Parliament, as an adviser to European accession referendum campaigns and as an adviser to the opposition in former-Soviet Georgia in the run-up to 2010 regional polls.
Steve Van Riel
Steve Van Riel is head of research at Centreground Political Communications. He was Labour’s Director of Policy at the 2010 UK General Election, having previously been the party’s Head of Research in a number of local, regional and European elections. After Labour left office, he advised the party on foreign affairs and welfare policy and helped prepare senior politicians for Prime Minister’s Questions.
Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith was the first woman to serve as the UK’s Home Secretary. She was elected to Parliament in 1997, served on the Treasury committee and was appointed as a Government Minister in 1999. She held Ministerial office in Education, Health, Industry and Equality. As Chief Whip, she oversaw parliamentary business and was at the heart of government during the transition from Tony Blair to Gordon Brown as Prime Minister. As Home Secretary, she oversaw the introduction of neighbourhood policing, major reform in the immigration system and published the first public counter terror strategy. Since leaving Parliament in 2010, Jacqui has worked as a consultant, broadcaster, trainer and coach.
Matthew Doyle is the former Political Director to Tony Blair in his role as Middle East Quartet Representative and for his charitable works, including on governance in Africa. In government, Matthew was Special Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Before joining the government he spent eight years as part of, and then leading, New Labour’s communications efforts. He returned for the General Election campaign in 2010 as part of the specialist team for the UK’s first Prime Ministerial TV Election debates. He is currently a political and communications consultant based in London.
Professor Paul Corrigan is a health and public policy specialist. He spent six years as a special adviser in Tony Blair’s New Labour government, including as senior health policy adviser to the Prime Minister and to Health Secretaries Alan Milburn and John Reid. He was instrumental in developing all the major themes of NHS reform and in developing capacity throughout the NHS to turn policy into practice. He was director of strategy and commissioning at the London Strategic Health Authority. He gained his first degree in social policy from the LSE in 1969 and his PhD at Durham in 1974. He is currently adjunct professor of public health at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and of health policy at Imperial College London.
Matthew Terry worked for more than a decade in the British Diplomatic Service focusing on international security and intelligence issues in the Middle East, South Asia, Central Europe and South America. His specific roles have covered international collaboration on counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics threats; preparations for EU accession among Central European states on issues relating to the EU Third Pillar (Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters); and reporting on political and security risks in unstable parts of the world. Since leaving the Diplomatic Service, Matthew has worked as a consultant to UK government departments.