New ca­reer for Tom

For­mer MP launches a new busi­ness

Rutherglen Reformer - - Intimations - Kenny Smith

For­mer Glas­gow South MP Tom Harris is look­ing to life be­yond pol­i­tics by set­ting up a new public af­fairs con­sul­tancy.

Along with his wife Carolyn, the King’s Park man has named his busi­ness Third Av­enue Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and es­tab­lished a web­site set­ting out what it of­fers to prospec­tive clients.

And he’s al­ready re­ceived glow­ing en­dorse­ments from old po­lit­i­cal ri­vals - in­clud­ing for­mer SNP First Min­is­ter Alex Salmond.

Tom spent 14 years as a Labour MP be­fore los­ing his seat to the SNP’s Stewart McDon­ald in the Gen­eral Elec­tion.

A for­mer re­porter with the Re­former’s sis­ter pa­pers the East Kil­bride News and the Pais­ley Daily Ex­press, Tom said: “Carolyn had worked with me in my con­stituency of­fice, so we were both out of a job come May 8.

“Carolyn’s a very good writer and I’ve got a cer­tain amount of ex­pe­ri­ence of Gov­ern­ment and as an MP, as well as hav­ing been a news­pa­per re­porter.

“That will be use­ful to com­pa­nies if they want to know more about how to ac­cess Gov­er­ment and how it will af­fect their own or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“A lot of peo­ple think the world of pol­i­tics is quite in­tim­i­dat­ing, and it in­volves com­mu­ni­ca­tion.”

As well as gov­ern­ment re­la­tions, media train­ing, public re­la­tions and cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Third Av­enue will also of­fer media train­ing – in­clud­ing “how to han­dle be­ing doorstepped by a pack of news hounds” Tom, who served as rail­ways min­is­ter in the Depart­ment for Trans­port, won top MP’s blog in the 2009 To­tal Pol­i­tics Top Po­lit­i­cal Blog Awards.

When look­ing to a life be­yond Westminster, he had a chance en­counter with Alex Salmond.

Tom ex­plained: “I bumped into him when I was back down at the Com­mons, and de­spite a dif­fer­ence in our pol­i­tics, I’ve al­ways liked him, have en­joyed his com­pany, and we’ve al­ways got on well.

“He asked what I was think­ing of do­ing, and if I wanted an endorsement, he would be happy to do one.

“And then, as good as his word, it came through a cou­ple of weeks later.

“It was an ex­tremely gen­er­ous thing for him to do that.”

Alex Salmond said: “I have al­ways found Tom Harris one of the most thought­ful of Westminster politi­cians. One of the first MPs to un­der­stand the power of so­cial media, Tom has al­ways been able to work across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum. He is held in high re­gard by SNP rep­re­sen­ta­tives.”

Another of those who has en­dorsed Tom is James Dor­nan, SNP MSP for Glas­gow Cath­cart, in­clud­ing King’s Park and Castlemilk.

He added: “De­spite be­ing mem­bers of dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal par­ties, Tom and I had no dif­fi­culty in work­ing to­gether on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions for the ben­e­fit of our con­stituents. Tom is very well re­spected and liked across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum.”

Ven­ture Tom Harris and wife Carolyn have launched a new public af­fairs busi­ness

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