Jo Moore

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Jo Moore was a Special Adviser to Stephen Byers at the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions. She was his Special Adviser at the DTI until the 2001 election, moving with him to his new Department until she resigned in February 2002. She was Senior Press and Broadcast Officer of the Labour Party from 1993-7. She was active in the battle to throw Militant Tendency activists out of the Labour Party in the 1980's, describing herself as the "hammer of the Trots". When she was Vice-Chair of the National Organisation of Labour Students, she apparently wore a silver necklace with an ice-pick on it (an ice-pick was used to kill Trotsky - geddit! Although his murderer was sent by Stalin, so perhaps this says more about her control-freak tendencies than she intended). She is the Chair of South Hornsey Labour Party.

Jo Moore is a former lobbyist for Westminster Strategy (run by former adviser to David Blunkett, Mike Lee and now part of Grayling). In 1999 Westminster Strategy was given the contract to handle all Islington Council's communications and marketing (Jo Moore has worked as Press Officer for both Islington and Haringey Councils). Her husband, Paul Williamson, is a former Labour Councillor in Haringey, who made a large amount of money by selling a ticket agency he founded, Synchro Systems, to Ticketmaster (the US-based multinational), where he now works.

In October 2001 she came under pressure to resign after an e-mail she sent in the first hour after the World Trade Centre attack was leaked to the Media. In it the spin-doctor suggested taking advantage of the press frenzy surrounding the attack to release stories that would show the Labour Government in a bad light, saying "Its now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury." The e-mail was sent to Alun Evans, the civil servant who was her Department's Director of Communications. He was later pushed out of his job after refusing to release material designed to rubbish Bob Kiley, anti-PPP boss of the London Underground. She is a close friend of Alastair Campbell and Anji Hunter, which is the most likely reason she did not get the sack at the time. She finally resigned in February 2002 after more in-fighting between her and civil servant and DTLR press chief Martin Sixsmith (a job Jo Moore had been after - Stephen Byers tried to bulldoze her into the post, but failed to override the standard Civil Service procedures). This new row resulted in the leak of an e-mail which was designed to give the impression that Jo Moore had suggested that Princess Margaret's funeral was another opportunity to "bury" bad news.