The man behind David Cameron’s visit to Hampshire in the run up to the general election has left his role as Conservative Party campaign director to concentrate on golf.
Stephen Brine, 31, is not looking for a life of leisure, however. He has moved to take up the position of operations director at Hampshire-based Pete Richardson Communications Ltd, one of the leading golf PR firms in Europe.
Brine’s role as campaign director covered 18 parliamentary constituencies across the south. He was the orchestrator of David Cameron’s visit to Hampshire earlier this year and is a valued supporter of the new Conservative leader.
He said: "I am very positive about the future – both for me and the party. David has a real chance to communicate with the millions of voters the party has lost since the early 1990s because he has caught the imagination of the voters.
"He is, however, a long way from Downing Street and needs to construct a credible set of really positive policies which people feel they can vote for at the next election."
Brine started his career with a post graduate diploma in broadcast journalism from Highbury College, Cosham – one of the country’s leading journalism colleges.
After spells as a radio presenter and producer with the BBC and WGN in Chicago, he moved to Westminster in 1999 where he began ghost writing newspaper articles and speeches for the then Conservative Party leader.
He was also editor of the party’s main website in the build-up to the 2001 general election, managing a £1m budget.
He then became press and media officer for the party in the south before being appointed campaign director in February 2004.
He explained: "I felt the time was right for me to return to the private sector. I’m always looking for new challenges and had completed two parliamentary cycles, two general elections and an all-out European campaign.
"I realised there was huge potential at Pete Richardson Communications and the time was right for the company to acquire somebody with my skill sets. It was quite fortunate timing."
A long-term member of the highly respected Liphook Golf Club, Brine plays off a handicap of 17 – but he is a scratch businessman, a facet his new, eponymous managing director is keen to utilise.
Richardson said: "Steve brings not only more journalistic experience to our team, but a wealth of business acumen as well.
"This is an exciting time for the company and Steve’s addition will ensure we are well prepared for what faces us in 2006."
But the move hasn’t dampened Brine’s own political ambitions. He will continue to work behind the scenes and hopes to stand for election in the future.
"You might well say that," he smiled.
And added in true politico style: "I couldn’t possibly comment."
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