PM appoints Scot as strategist

GORDON Brown has appointed a Scottish spin doctor to be his new political strategist, six months after taking office.

Stephen Carter – a former head of the telecoms watchdog Ofcom – who is not a member of the Labour Party, will become the Prime Minister's principal special adviser on a salary of 137,400 – the maximum for such a post.

Mr Carter, 43, chief executive at the corporate communications firm Brunswick Group, will report directly to Mr Brown.

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However, unlike Alastair Campbell, who acted as adviser to the former prime minister Tony Blair, he will have no powers to instruct civil servants.

Mr Carter will be enrolled as a member of the party and is also taking a hefty pay cut from his present salary of 500,000.

Mr Carter, a law graduate of Aberdeen University, will be in charge of 18 advisers based at No 10 and about 50 more across Whitehall. He said: "It is an honour to be asked to work with the Prime Minister and the Downing Street team."

Mr Carter left Ofcom in October 2006 and had been hotly tipped to become chief executive of ITV.

Mr Brown said of his new adviser: "As both a chief executive and industry regulator, he has an enviable track record in the private and public sectors, and will bring his considerable qualities and experience to the work of government."