ABTA head of development Andy Cooper is quitting the association to join Thomas Cook as director of government and external affairs.

Cooper announced his decision just a month after ABTA head of policy David Marshall was made redundant.  Cooper was set to take on the role of political lobbying and his departure will leave the association needing to review how it will undertake its political lobbying.

An ABTA spokeswoman said it will continue with its lobbying role and a review is expected to  undertaken before Cooper’s departure in July.

She said: “That lobbying role is very important to us, we will continue to do that and we will take this (Cooper’s departure) as an opportunity to review our products and services so we can deliver them most effectively.”

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer added: “Andy has contributed enormously since the merger of ABTA and FTO and we are sorry to see him go.

“However, it’s good news that he is remaining in the industry and will be working for one of our important members where I am sure he will be of tremendous value and continue to have a close association with ABTA.”

Thomas Cook Group group director of PR and communications Alexis Coles-Barrasso said: “We are delighted to have Andy joining us at what is a very exciting time of our development.

“His vast experience and knowledge will help us make significant progress in the important area of government relations and lobbying.”