Tuesday 23 April 2019 6:59 pm

The Independent Group hire former New Labour ad-man for European elections

The Independent Group and its political party Change UK have called on the services of former New Labour ad-man Johnny Hornby and his WPP-backed agency.

Read more: The Independent Group applies to register as a political party

Hornby’s agency The&Partnership, pronounced “The And Partnership”, will provide creative advertising, design, data analytics, and strategic advice for the party during the upcoming European elections, it said today.

Hornby was in charge of the Labour party’s advertising during the 2001 general election, which it won comfortably, according to The&Partnership. Labour used an image of then Tory leader William Hague with the hair and earrings of Margaret Thatcher and the strapline: “Be afraid, be very afraid.”

The&Partnership said today that it will offer its services to The Independent Group for free, as Hornby supports them politically. It currently works for clients including Argos, Lexus, TalkTalk, The Wall Street Journal, and RBS.

Hornby said: “With Nigel Farage, the Brexit Party and the ERG at one end and Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott at the other, any centrist-minded, pro-business, pro-European should be as actively and passionately supportive of Change UK and The Independent Group as we are.”

The agency was responsible for Change UK’s new striped logo, which was unveiled today as the party launched its European elections campaign.

Earlier this month the Electoral Commission rejected Change UK’s previous logo for the European elections, which was the initials “TIG” with the hashtag “#Change”. The Commission said the initialism was not sufficiently well-known, and that hashtags were not allowed.

The&Partnership had nothing to do with the previous logo, it said today.

The Commission said any new design will come too late for it to appear on next month's ballot paper, meaning there will be a blank space where the logo should appear.

Read more: Independent Group's MEP elections logo rejected

European elections will be held between 23 to 26 May 2019. In a recent YouGov poll on the elections, Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party ranked first on 22 per cent while Change UK came last among the major parties who will contest the whole of Britain on six per cent.