Jake Sumner joins political | public affairs consultancy Field Consulting

07 November 2017 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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Jake Sumner has joined Field Consulting as a Director. The ninth member of the senior team at the firm brings with him 20 years of experience in political communications and project delivery, including a term serving former Cabinet Minister John Denham, and ex-Shadow Cabinet Minister Chuka Umunna.

With geo-political instability having reached sudden peaks over the past year since the surprise Brexit poll, the shock election of Donald Trump, and the previously unthinkable hung Parliament of 2017’s UK general election, public affairs management and planned communications have become of paramount importance for actors in the increasingly volatile world of public relations. Field Consulting, previously known as Corporate Reputation Consulting, are a consultancy specialising in public affairs, media relations and property, and planning communications. Present clients of Field include Berkeley Homes, Capital Counties Properties, Govia Thameslink Railway, Rail Supply Group, High Speed Rail Industry Leaders and Velocys. Field’s team is currently growing in order to meet demand from clients looking to manage controversial, topical issues, as well seeking broader support with their communications needs.

Jake Sumner’s 20 year career would mark him out to many as an ideal candidate for his new position at the firm. The former Chief Political Adviser to Chuka Umunna MP has joined Field as a Director, bringing with him a resume that also includes communications, policy, campaigns and project delivery in various high profile roles. Following a period at Transport for London, where Sumner lead the funding campaign and communications strategy for Crossrail, he also worked as a Special Advisor to fellow Labour MP John Denham – who was Secretary for Communities and Local Government under Gordon Brown’s ill-fated premiership during Sumner’s time in the position.

Jake Sumner - Consultant at Field Consulting

Following Denham’s short stint as Shadow Business Secretary, Sumner remained in his position as Senior Advisor to the office, after a reshuffle from then-leader Ed Miliband saw Chuka Umunna assume the position, as the Labour Party attempted to revitalise itself following a poor performance in the polls. Umunna, who was once touted as a future leader of the Party, exiled himself to the backbenches following the surprise election of committed leftist and present Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who he refused to serve under as a Shadow Minister. Sumner followed suit, and has since worked as an Associate Director in Industrial Strategy for the ResPublica think tank.

Sumner’s arrival at Field as a Director effectively sees him replace Luke Pollard, who left the agency in the summer following a successful campaign in the Summer’s snap election, becoming a Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport. However, Field is not just treading water, the firm is in the midst of an expansion effort, with Sumner becoming the latest of four new hires at the consultancy, taking their member-count to nine. He joins Jonathon Andrew, James Sloan, Rachael Shanahan, Sara Price, Deborah James, Lyndsey Drea and Alex Morton at the agency founded by former Edelman director Chris Rumfitt in 2014.

Speaking on the recruitment, Rumfitt, who is CEO of the firm, said, "Jake [Sumner] has extensive experience of working at the highest level within the Labour Party. Added to his unique expertise in the Industrial Strategy policy sphere, he represents a real talent our clients can now benefit from."