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Miliband shuffle rewards former regional press hacks

Three former regional press political journalists are starting new roles after Labour leader Ed Miliband announced key appointments to his media team.

Times journalist Tom Baldwin, who started out on the Newbury Weekly News before becoming lobby correspondent for The News, Portsmouth and the Sunderland Echo in the mid-1990s, is Mr Miliband’s new head of communications.

After leaving The News he joined the Sunday Telegraph as political correspondent before moving to The Times’ lobby team. More recently he has been the paper’s Washington Correspondent.

A close friend of Alastair Campbell to whom he has been compared, he was one of the first journalists to name the weapons inspector Dr David Kelly as the source of BBC claims that the government had “sexed-up” the dossier on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in 2003.

Tom is joined in Mr Miliband’s new-look comms operation by Bob Roberts, political editor of the Daily Mirror since 2007.

Bob was a political correspondent for Northcliffe Newspapers before joining the Press Association in 1998 and then the Mirror two years later.

In his new role he will be Mr Miliband’s director of news, dealing with day-to-day press queries and running the Labour press office.

Finally Bob’s role as political editor of the Mirror goes to his erstwhile deputy Jason Beattie, former political editor of the Birmingham Post and political correspondent with the London Evening Standard.

Mirror editor Richard Wallace, said: “I am delighted for Jason as he is a political journalist of the highest calibre.

“I would also like to thank Bob, he has been a great servant to the paper, especially in his role as political editor. He leaves with our very best wishes for the future.”