08/14/2013 11:34 EDT | Updated 10/14/2013 05:12 EDT

Andrew MacDougall Quits PMO, Harper Loses Another Communications Director


OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper's communications director Andrew MacDougall is quitting his job.

MacDougall is taking a job in the U.K. with a global communications firm and announced the move on Twitter, posting a link to a statement from his new firm, Publicis Groupe, based in London.

His resignation comes at a crucial time for the Harper Conservatives as they grapple with a Senate spending scandal and prepare for what's likely to be a raucous fall sitting of Parliament.

Publicis Groupe has named MacDougall senior executive consultant in its London office.

He is expected to leave his post in the Prime Minister's Office in early September and start his new job in November.

MacDougall began as a PMO spokesperson in 2008, and was named director of communications in April 2012.

He made headlines throughout his tenure for getting in heated spats on Twitter with both regular citizens and celebrities.

Harper has lost a number of directors of communications in recent years. Angelo Persichilli left the job in 2012 soon after replacing Dimitri Soudas, who left in 2011.

With files from The Canadian Press

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