On Tuesday 9 February 2021, the John Smith Centre proudly hosted Mo Hussein as part of its Power Hour series. 

Mo is now the Public Affairs Director of leading PR and Marketing firm PLMR, but prior to that he worked in communications in the heart of the Conservative UK government. With 4 years at Number 10 Downing Street advising David Cameron on communications and 3 years with Amber Rudd at both the Home Office and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Mo had a wealth of insights to offer our Power Hour audience. The full 60 minute session is available in the Power Hour section of this website, but here’s a quick run down of the key moments

What do Special Advisers do? Sometimes we assume that everyone knows and understands the term “SpAd” – but even if you did, do you know why they actually do?

Mo gives a neat explanation here contrasting with the role of a traditional civil servant.

Ever taken a risk? Communications advisers are used to dealing with traditional media, but arguably that’s no longer enough to get your key messages out to the people you hope will hear them.

In this clip, Mo explains how and why he reached out to LADbible to talk about domestic abuse.

What about events beyond your control? In this clip Mo Hussein describes what it was like being the only adviser in the building with the Prime Minister the night Nelson Mandela died.

Here he tells us about his primary concern, which on this occasion was not about the words he’d have to craft.

What’s your proudest moment? We asked Mo what he was most proud of looking back on his time in Government, he offers us a unique insight into the work he did to encourage the tech giants to work together to defeat terror, and online radicalisation in particular.

Politicians, even Ministers, are human too. Mo discusses his role preparing the Home Secretary Amber Rudd for a TV debate where she was standing in for Prime Minister Theresa May. Just hours before the debate, the Home Secretary’s father died and Amber Rudd still worked through the grief to do the debate.

Politicians are public servants devoted to their work but sometimes we take for granted the personal sacrifices they make on our behalf and perhaps also that they are human too, just like all of us.

Everyone at the John Smith Centre is so grateful to Mo Hussein for giving us not just an hour of his time, but such an honest and engaging insight into the work taking place at the very heart of government.