Pia steps down as spin doctor

THE spin doctor for the last two Scottlsh Labour leaders has stepped down.

Simon Pia said he felt it was time to move on, following his work with recent former leader, Iain Gray, and his predecessor, Wendy Alexander.

It is understood the specific role of spin doctor on behalf of recently-elected new leader, Johann Lamont, has yet to be made, though Paul Sinclair, the former Daily Record political editor, has been assisting her in an advisory capacity since her election as part of a wider team that is still being put together.

Sinclair was at the Record between 2000 and 2006, moving to become special advisor to then Europe Minister, Douglas Alexander MP. Most recently, he was working for London-based PR agency, Hill and Knowlton.

Pia – a former diarist on The Scotsman and presenter on the now defunct all-speech Edinburgh radio station, Talk107 – says he is “looking forward to life after Labour”.

He told allmediascotland.com: “I was definitely time to move on and I am looking foward to life after Labour.

“A spin doctor’s shelf-life lasts only so long. My situation was a bit unusual as I worked for two different leaders, but I had a particularly good relationship with both Iain and Wendy. It can be a very intense, even intimate relationship and the job is 24/7.

“Now, as they say, I am open to offers. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the contrast over the last decade as The Scotsman diarist , drivetime presenter on Talk107 and life on the dark side as a spin doctor. Quite a mix and I may apply all three to my next venture.”