Whitehall insider Pike picked to spearhead GREAT promotion drive

A veteran Whitehall insider has been picked as the next head of Boris Johnson’s GREAT campaign to promote Britain around the world.

Sky News has learnt that Andy Pike, the director of communications at the Northern Ireland Office, will take over the leadership of the initiative next month.

Mr Pike, who has previously worked at 10 Downing Street – where he worked on earlier iterations of the GREAT campaign – and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, will replace Dan Ramsay, who resigned a fortnight ago to join the broadband infrastructure group CityFibre Holdings.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street, London, heading for the House of Commons where tributes will be made to Conservative MP Sir David Amess who died on Friday. Picture date: Monday October 18, 2021.

The announcement comes as the prime minister trumpets £10bn of foreign direct investment

The news of Mr Pike’s appointment, which is understood to have been finalised this week, has emerged on the day that Boris Johnson trumpeted nearly £10bn of foreign direct investment in the UK through a string of trade deals.

Many of those investment decisions had been previously announced, but were aggregated to add heft to the Global Investment Summit hosted by the prime minister and other members of his cabinet at London’s Science Museum on Tuesday.

Sources told Sky News this month that Mr Ramsay had resigned after less than two years in the role amid frustration at the level of Whitehall bureaucracy he encountered.

In June, ministers launched what they called a “refreshed” marketing effort for the country, with the PM saying: “The UK is steeped in a long and dynamic history of discovery and fresh ideas, powered by our ability to see and do things differently.

“It is this spirit that the world needs now more than ever as we confront the challenges of Covid, tackle climate change, and strive for a better future for everyone on our planet.

“And I believe that it’s precisely that spirit that puts the ‘great’ into Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”

Mr Pike will be based in the Cabinet Office in his new role.

The Cabinet Office’s press office could not be reached on Tuesday evening.