Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps has confirmed the strategist behind Boris Johnson's electoral successes - Lynton Crosby - will begin working as a part-time consultant "campaign manager" for the Party early next year.
"This is a serious campaigner. Lynton brings the kind of focus that's required to manage campaigns and we have a big job to do to explain what's going on", Mr Shapps told the BBC's Sunday Politics show.
"This country is in a global race. We need to be able to get out there, show that we can secure a brilliant future for Britain".
Mr Shapps said he had spoken to Mr Crosby about allegations of a racist outburst, who assured him that he had "no recollection of this at all".
More top news
Showers continue across some southern and western areas tonight.
Two people are being treated in hospital after an "explosion" in a flat in West Dunbartonshire.
Tom Billings, 22, went missing in Canada in December 2013 during an eight-week trip of North America.