Another piece of reshuffling today – the replacement for Richard Reeves as Nick Clegg’s strategy advisor is being formally announced. It will by Ryan Coetzee, previously of the South African Democratic Alliance where he has been both Chief Exec and an MP. That mix of both backroom and frontroom political experience should come in very useful.
#MiddayReport And the DA’s Ryan Coetzee on his move to London, to advice UK Dep PM Nick Clegg.
— Stephen Grootes (@StephenGrootes) September 7, 2012
Though he is technically Richard Reeves’s successor he will be a very different sort of person, with a lot of detailed knowledge of how parties work and how to win voters, especially in reaching out beyond core voters. More a campaigner and a fighter than a thinker and policy person – which is just what the party needs.
UPDATE: Here’s the biography of him that is being circulated.
Ryan has held a wide range of jobs in South African politics working for the Democratic Alliance party (our liberal sister party in government) and the Western Cape Government. Ryan’s most recent role was as Special Adviser to Helen Zille, President of the Western Cape, with a focus on co-ordinating government policy and strategy – a position he held between 2009 and 2012.
Prior to that Ryan was an MP in the South African federal parliament between 2004 and 2009, including holding the Shadow Health Portfolio. He served as the Chief Strategist for the DA in 2006 and 2009 General Elections, and was Chief Executive of the party between 2005 and 2009.
UPDATE 2: Here’s a South African take on the story – UK party poaches top DA man.