James Chapman

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James Chapman is ex-director of communications to the UK chancellor of the exchequer and first secretary of state George Osborne in May 2015 after the UK general election.

After Osborne's sacking following the 'Brexit' vote, Chapman was reappointed as chief of staff to David Davis, secretary of state for exiting the European Union.

He quit this role after the UK general election in June 2017, joining PR and lobbying firm Bell Pottinger that same month and later announcing he would launch a new anti-Brexit party aiming to appeal to voters who oppose Britain's departure from the EU. Bell Pottinger boss Tim Collins said: "This is a very significant hire for us, and our clients will benefit hugely from the breadth of James’ experience at the Treasury, Department for Exiting the European Union, and on Fleet Street." [1]

After the collapse of Bell Pottinger, in early 2018 Chapman joined new lobbying firm JH Communications, which was set up by former Bell Pottinger CEO James Henderson.

Chapman is a former political editor at the Daily Mail', where he worked for six years before he became a government aide.


After completing his A-Levels, Chapman started his career as a general news reporter for the Southern Daily Echo and completed a two-year training scheme run by Southern Newspapers.

Chapman then went on to attend the University of Oxford from 1996 to 1999, before starting at the Daily Mail. At the newspaper, Chapman has held roles including news reporter, science and environment correspondent, he joined the political team in 2003, was promoted to deputy political editor in 2005 and political editor in 2009. As political editor he attended daily lobby briefings in Downing Street and joining the prime minister on foreign trips.[2]

In 2013 Chapman rejected the chance to become David Cameron's press secretary and his number two under director of communications Craig Oliver.

In May 2015, after the general election, Chapman was appointed director of communications to George Osborne in his roles as both chancellor and first secretary of state. At the time Osborne was believed to be keen to hire a 'Fleet Street heavy hitter' to take charge of the EU referendum campaign.[3]


  1. [ http://www.prweek.com/article/1436096/brexit-secretary-chief-staff-james-chapman-join-bell-pottinger-political-team#dxLGqLO6J9pcrYCW.99 Brexit secretary chief of staff James Chapmen joins Bell Pottinger Political team], PR Week, 9 June 2017, accessed 23 August 2017
  2. Journalism James Chapman promoted to political editor at Daily Mail, 27 March 2009, accessed 18 May 2015.
  3. James Forsyth George Osborne poaches Daily Mail’s political editor Spectator, 16 May 2015, accessed 18 May 2015.