Ex-Open Britain director Gieve takes role in government trade drive

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An avowed pro-European who was involved in the doomed ‘People’s Vote’ campaign that was aimed at overturning the result of the Brexit referendum is to help spearhead a renewed government inward investment drive.

Sky News understands that Daniel Gieve, who was on the board of the pro-EU group Open Britain, is taking on a key post in Whitehall’s new Office for Investment (OfI).

Mr Gieve’s appointment comes a fortnight after Boris Johnson announced the establishment of the new Office, which will spearhead a push to land “top tier” investments in Britain.

The arrival in government of a figure who played such a prominent role opposing Brexit reflects a subtle shift in Whitehall since the departure of Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s former chief adviser.

Mr Gieve was previously an executive at Finsbury, the public affairs and public relations firm founded by Roland Rudd, who spearheaded the People’s Vote campaign.

Sources said that Mr Gieve was likely to be installed as the new OfI’s chief operating officer, or a similar executive post.

The OfI will be chaired by Lord Grimstone, the minister for investment, and “sponsored” by the PM and Rishi Sunak, the chancellor.

Lord Grimstone said last month: “If we are to build back better from this pandemic, we need to refocus and re-double our efforts to attract foreign investment, which will increase productivity, economic growth across the country, boost our exports and better our research and development environment.

“We must sharpen our priorities and transform our investment offer accordingly to meet the demands of a changing global economic outlook – whether that be in greener or increased digitally-led opportunities.”

Mr Gieve could not be reached for comment.

Sky news

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