LONDON — UK prime minister Boris Johnson has appointed a new official spokesperson: Max Blain, who joins from the Department for Health and Social Care, where he was acting head of news. Blain starts the role in April, succeeding James Slack, who became Downing Street’s director of communications in November.

LONDON — Chuka Umunna, the former Labour MP who joined Edelman last July as executive director overseeing environmental, social and governance work, has left the agency to lead JP Morgan’s ESG offer.

LONDON — Brunswick has appointed Antony Dunkels, former barrister and head of Edelman’s litigation and legal affairs practice in London, as a partner. As part of the firm’s global litigation communications offer, Dunkels will advise clients on critical issues across litigation, disputes, regulation and policy. He was also a partner at Bell Pottinger, handling crisis and litigation communications.

LONDON — Ethical and sustainable UK energy provider People's Energy Company has appointed The Fourth Angel as its PR agency after a four-way competitive pitch. The agency's brief includes corporate and consumer PR, as well as support on campaigns, including amplifying an advertising campaign featuring rugby star Gareth Thomas. The agency team will be led by Sedem Ama, formerly of Unity and Karmarama; Nick Parker, who joins from working in-house at EY and Deloitte, and Cai Wilshaw, former head of external affairs at PinkNews.

LONDON — American sister fashion labels Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister have hired Canoe to handle consumer PR, including communication and partnership strategy, media relations, press office, lifestyle marketing and influencer strategy.

LONDON — Pet insurance provider Bought By Many, which was launched in 2017, has appointed Brands2Life as its retained communications agency to support its next phase of growth. The agency’s brief is to boost awareness among consumers, investors and the wider insurance market. The remit includes brand strategy, integrated campaigns, corporate profiling, influencer engagement, event and sponsorship activation and proactive press office.

LONDON — Engine MHP has made two senior appointments to its financial services team: Dan Pike joins as a director from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, where he was global communications lead, while former Daily Express financial reporter Kate Cunningham joins as associate director. Both previously worked together at financial specialist Teamspirit.

LONDON — Insurance company Churchill has appointed Talker Tailor Trouble Maker to launch its new claims offering, after a competitive pitch. The campaign covers personal finance and consumer media, as well as influencers.

LONDON — Community buying and selling website Gumtree has appointed The Romans as its retained PR agency after a competitive pitch. The agency will run the press office, develop creative campaigns and review the brand’s positioning to appeal to a younger audience.

LONDON — NHS-approved digital therapeutics company My Mhealth has selected Hard Numbers as its agency partner in the UK. The company provides digital platforms and applications which offer patients education, rehabilitation, and self-management for long-term conditions including COPD, asthma, diabetes, heart disease and Covid-19.

LONDON — Milk & Honey PR has been appointed by automated risk, compliance and regulation software specialist Albany Group. Founded in 2007 by two former Royal Marines, Albany Group specialises in automated risk and intelligence software for insurance industry supply chains. The agency will be responsible for media relations alongside a website rebuild, developing the company’s messaging framework and managing social media channels.

OXFORD — Valeo Foods, which owns the Rowse honey brand, has appointed Bottle PR as its retained agency to launch its new Rowse ChocoBee chocolate spread brand in the UK, including PR, social media and influencer marketing.

LONDON —  The Skinny Food Co has appointed The PHA Group as its UK press office, with a brief that spans product placement, feature placement and business profiling. The agency will be raising awareness of new products including its Fakeaway range, healthy ready meals, and most high protein, low sugar Skinny Bars.

BERLIN — MSL Germany has expanded its leadership team with the appointment of Isabel Heusinger as a director. She will be responsible for all the agency’s activities for its biggest client, Procter & Gamble. Heusinger was previously a managing partner at Nihao.

LONDON — The UK subsidiary of Italian paper manufacturer Fedrigoni has appointed specialist consultancy TDC PR to drive its PR and social media programme in the UK. The agency aims to develop a strategy that will enable the company to reach new audiences, including in the creative industries.