Pandora: Blackman back

Oonagh Blackman, the former political editor of The Daily Mirror, has bounced back quickly.

Blackman, who quietly departed the paper's offices in Canary Wharf last month after 11 years "to seek new pastures", has been appointed a special adviser to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Shaun Woodward. Although the move smacks a bit of poacher-turned-gamekeeper, it comes as no great surprise to political hacks, who claim Blackman and Woodward were usually thick as thieves during her time in the Westminster lobby.

Woodward's spokesman confirmed the appointment yesterday and said he expected Blackman to begin in the new year. She became Mirror political editor in May 2004 after her predecessor, James Hardy, left for the BBC.