In the 1990s, Bell Pottinger became something of a safe haven for top Tory advisers adjusting to life outside of government.
In the post Blair/Brown era, which PR agency is fulfilling the same role for talented Labour types in need of a new challenge?
Blue Rubicon, I learned this week, has signed up Patrick Loughran, the well-regarded former special adviser to Lord Mandelson, ex-Number 10 staffer and one-time key member of Labour’s fabled “attack unit”.
When he joins later this month, he will link up with the agency’s head of strategy Spencer Livermore, a former colleague from the attack unit who also went on to work in Brown’s Number 10.
Also on board at Blue Rubicon is Chris Norton, who worked with both Loughran and Livermore during his many years as special adviser to the formidable Alan Johnson (with whom he remains in close contact).
So is Blue Rubicon now the natural home for the cream of the Blair/Brown era? Agency bosses are keen to play down the suggestion.
‘We don’t really view the world in terms of tribal political alliances,’ says one director.
Perhaps Damian McBride won’t be joining after all…