Vladimir Romanov’s ex-PR advisor becomes Scottish Labour comms chief

Vladimir Romanov, pictured, was represented by Charlie Mann for over four years. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Vladimir Romanov, pictured, was represented by Charlie Mann for over four years. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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He was once employed to offer communications advice to one of Scottish football’s most controversial characters.

Now Charlie Mann, a well-known public relations executive and broadcaster, has reportedly taken on a challenge of a different kind by becoming head of communications for Scottish Labour.

Party insiders have confirmed that Mr Mann, 58, will soon take over from Gina Davidson as the party’s media chief. He is likely to have his work cut out as Labour currently trails both the SNP and the Conservatives in the polls ahead of the 2021 Holyrood elections.

New leader Richard Leonard has also faced accusations that he is failing to raise Scottish Labour’s profile in the same way as Jeremy Corbyn has done south of the Border.

READ MORE: Vladimir Romanov’s former right-hand man calls for Hearts to sell stars and start again

The appointment of Mr Mann is likely to raise eyebrows among some of Labour’s left-wing. He once represented Atos, a multinational company repeatedly criticised by Labour over their handling of benefits fitness tests.

A source close to Mr Mann defended his role, telling the Scottish Sun: “Charlie has never worked directly for Atos as an employee – he was part of a consultancy team and has not worked on the Atos account for the past year.”

But it is his work for former Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov that many will recall.

Mr Mann was spokesman for the Lithuanian businessman for over four years, an experience he later recalled as a “rollercoaster ride”.

Mr Romanov’s big-spending spell at Tynecastle saw the club win the 2006 Scottish Cup but later enter administration.

Mr Mann once said Mr Romanov had made a sizeable contribution to the club. “He has backed the club by spending £60m of his own money since he got involved in 2005. He has done his bit,” he commented in 2012.