Updated: Wed, 04 Apr 2012 06:15:02 GMT | By The Canadian Press, thecanadianpress.com

Harper anoints new communications director

Harper anoints new communications director

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's new Director of Communications Andrew MacDougall smiles as he is congratulated on his appointment in Ottawa, Wednesday, April 4, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA - The Prime Minister's Office has quickly replaced its director of communications, promoting spokesman Andrew MacDougall.

MacDougall, 36, was named this morning to replace Angelo Persichilli, who resigned last week after just seven months on the job.

MacDougall will be Stephen Harper's eighth director of communications and his seventh since becoming prime minister in 2006.

The affable MacDougall is bilingual, unlike his predecessor.

He has worked on Parliament Hill since 2006, moving up through the ranks as he gained respect among his colleagues and the media alike.

Most recently, under Persichilli, he was associate director of communications and Harper's spokesman — the most visible member of the prime minister's large and powerful communications team.

MacDougall will be put to the test immediately. Harper and his cabinet are under intense scrutiny after the auditor-general found that Parliament was kept in the dark about the true cost of the F-35 fighter jet program.

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