A Scottish daily editor axed by Johnston Press earlier this year is to be the new press chief for the Scottish Tories.
John McLellan left The Scotsman when his role as the paper’s editor-in-chief disappeared in a restructure.
Now he has been appointed as communications director of the Scottish Conservatives, advising new leader Ruth Davidson on “communications strategy, direction and content”.
John, who describes himself as a strong supporter of Scotland remaining part of the UK, will have a key role in getting the pro-unionist message across as the country heads towards the 2014 referendum on independence.
He told BBC Scotland: “It is no secret I strongly believe Scotland has benefited and will continue to benefit from being a strong part of the United Kingdom and I very much look forward to working with Ruth on developing the Scottish Conservative message at such a crucial time.
“A strong, modern Scottish Conservative voice with the values of hard work, just reward, personal responsibility and choice at its core has never been as badly needed as the SNP and Labour slug it out on the left.”
Ms Davidson added: “I am delighted to welcome someone of John’s experience and standing to the team. The Scottish Conservatives are changing and putting forward a bold vision of a centre-right Scotland.
“John’s role will be a vital part of communicating that vision and I am looking forward to working closely with him in delivering the change I want to see in our party and our country.”
John is the second former Johnston Press editor in the past year to re-emerge a communications role with the Conservative Party.
Last year John Furbisher became head of press for the Conservative Group in the European Parliament after resigning as editor of the Sheffield Star.