THE communications chief of Strathclyde Police has been headhunted for a £100,000 role at Better Together, the 'No' campaign in the forthcoming independence referendum.

The appointment of Rob Shorthouse is seen as a statement of intent by the campaign and a clear sign that money will be no object when it comes to defending the Union.

One source at Better Together said: "From our point of view his experience and background is outstanding, with an ability to reach beyond many of the usual message-carriers and across all parts of Scotland."

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Mr Shorthouse joined the civil service in 2001 in the communications directorate at St Andrew's House and rose up the ranks swiftly, becoming a senior communications officer for Jack McConnell as First Minister.

In 2006, he was seconded to be head of media and public relations for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games bid team, and he became the Scottish Football Association's head of communications in 2007.

Two years later Strathclyde Police's Chief Constable Stephen House brought him in as director of corporate communications. Mr Shorthouse was unavailable for comment.