OTTAWA--The director of communications for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is joining MSLGroup in London.

Andrew MacDougall will depart the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in September, one year after taking on the high-profile comms position. He was the seventh person to hold the post during the Conservative Party's seven years in power.

MacDougall joined the PMO as deputy press secretary in 2008, eventually working his way up to the department's top job. In addition to serving as as lead spokesman for the Canadian government, MacDougall led communications for government policy announcements, along with the PMO's digital and social media teams.

MacDougall is to take on his MSLGroup posting in November, becoming a senior executive consultant reporting to MSLGroup UK CEO Jeremy Sice.

In an email announcement, MacDougall said: "It has been a rare privilege to watch firsthand how the Prime Minister has led Canada through these tough economic times. To have been a small part of this endeavour will forever rank as one of my proudest accomplishments."

"As many of you know, my desire to move to London, England is long-standing and deep-seated. And so I am happy to announce that I will be moving to London later this fall to assume a senior role with MSLGROUP, Publicis Groupe’s strategic communications and public engagement group."

A former freelance journalist, Ottawa native MacDougall previously spent eight months at Hill+Knowlton Canada, before joining the PMO.

"Andrew's unique combination of political communication, crisis communication, and digital media experience will bring a fresh perspective to our clients as they navigate an increasingly complex communications environment," added Sice.