Thomas Cook Group has appointed Stephen D’Alfonso in the new role of group head of public affairs to “re-establish” the company as a “leading voice for travel and tourism”.

D’Alfonso, currently head of public affairs at industry body Abta, will start at the travel giant in July, reporting to Alice MacAndrew, group communications director.

He will be responsible for developing and implementing a government affairs strategy for Thomas Cook, working across Westminster, Whitehall and in Brussels.

Macandrew said: “I am delighted to have attracted someone of Stephen’s calibre to the team. He brings with him a deep understanding of the industry and its issues, giving him a great basis from which to start to re-establish Thomas Cook as a leading voice for travel and tourism.”

D’Alfonso leaves Abta after six years, and is credited with developing the organisation as a leading campaigning force in the industry. He joined Abta from the Westminster-based communications and events consultancy GovNet Communications and started his career in the office of Barry Sheerman MP.