Is­rael re­search cen­tre faces staff ex­o­dus

The Jewish Chronicle - - HOME NEWS - BY LEON SY­MONS

FOUR OUT of 11 staff at Bicom, the Bri­tish Is­rael Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Re­search Cen­tre, have quit since the ar­rival of the new chief ex­ec­u­tive, Lorna Fitzsi­mons, last sum­mer .

A post of di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, car­ry­ing a £75,000 salary, was ad­ver­tised this week by the or­gan­i­sa­tion, which was set up to counter anti-Is­rael pro­pa­ganda. The ad­ver­tise­ment called for knowl­edge of the BBC.

The other ad­ver­tised posts are head of me­dia, which pays £50,000, and a press of­fi­cer (£25,000).

Leav­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion is the cur­rent di­rec­tor of me­dia re­la­tions, Ben Novick, for a job with in­ter­net search en­gine Google.

The di­rec­tor of pub­lic af­fairs and cam­paigns, Ruth Smeeth, is head­ing for Nestlé, me­dia-re­la­tions man­ager Sharonne Durkin has taken a pub­lic-re­la­tions job with the ed­u­ca­tion or­gan­i­sa­tion School­friend, and publicaf­fairs of­fi­cer John Ti­mothy is mov­ing to Tesco.

A Bicom spokesman said: “The new post of di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions is part of the chief ex­ec­u­tive’s strat­egy for the fu­ture, that Bicom will con­cen­trate more on the me­dia.

“The BBC is men­tioned be­cause it is an im­por­tant, pub­licly funded body and, whoever is ap­pointed, will need to have an un­der­stand­ing of it. We have very good re­la­tions with the BBC and con­trib­uted to its im­par­tial re­view.”

Lorna Fitzsi­mons, the new CEO

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