Latest civil service & public affairs moves — January 13

Written by Dods People on 13 January 2020 in News

New appointments in the civil service, UK politics, and public affairs, via our colleagues at Dods People

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Government departments

  • Northern Ireland Office – Madeleine Alessandri has been appointed as permanent secretary, replacing Jonathan Stephens after a handover period.
  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: The National Heritage Memorial Fund – René Olivieri appointed as interim chair until 1 July.
  • Cabinet Office: Grenfell Tower Inquiry Panel – Thouria Istephan and Benita Mehra appointed as members.
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office – Faye O’Connor has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Oriental Republic of Uruguay in succession to Ian Duddy. Emma Hopkins has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark.

Devolved authorities

  • Northern Ireland Assembly – Liz Kimmins replaced Megan Fearon as Sinn Féin MLA for Newry and Armagh. Deirdre Hargey replaced Máirtín Ó Muilleoir as Sinn Féin MLA for Belfast South. Sinead McLaughlin replaced Colum Eastwood as SDLP MLA for Foyle. Diane Dodds replaced Carla Lockhart as DUP MLA for Upper Bann. Andrew Muir replaced Stephen Farry as Alliance MLA for North Down. Matthew O’Toole replaced Claire Hanna as SDLP MLA for Belfast South. Naomi Long returned as Alliance MLA for Belfast East.
  • Northern Ireland Government: Northern Ireland Water Board – Peter McNaney reappointed to the board, Belinda Oldfield, Marie-Thérèse McGivern, Patrick Larkin and Maurice Bullick appointed from 1 February. CAFRE College Advisory Group – Esther Skelly-Smith, Malcolm Emery, Nicholas Cowan and Roy Lyttle appointed as members for a three-year period. Northern Ireland Housing Executive – Allan Bresland, Catherine Elattar and Michael Ruane and Amanda Grehan appointed to the board.
  • National Assembly for Wales – Nick Ramsay was suspended by the Conservative group; the suspension is being reviewed.


  • Labour Party – Tracy Brabin has been appointed shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport (formerly shadow minister for early years). Luke Pollard has been appointed shadow secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs (formerly shadow Minister for fishing, flooding and water). Rachel Maskell has been appointed shadow secretary of state for employment rights (formerly shadow minister for rail). Tony Lloyd has been appointed as shadow secretary of state for Scotland (remaining in the same role for Northern Ireland). Emma Hardy has been appointed as shadow minister for skills (formerly PPS, exiting the European Union). Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi has been appointed PPS to Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the opposition.
  • SNP – Alison Thewliss appointed as shadow chancellor (formerly shadow chief secretary to the Treasury; spokesperson for housing and local government). Philippa Whitford appointed as shadow secretary of state for exiting the EU, and remains as shadow secretary of state for health and social care. Mhairi Black appointed as shadow secretary of state for Scotland (formerly spokesperson for women, equalities, pensions and disabilities). David Linden appointed as shadow secretary of state for housing, communities and local government (formerly deputy whip). Stuart McDonald appointed as shadow attorney general and remains as shadow minister for immigration. Gavin Newlands appointed as shadow secretary of statetate for transport (formerly spokesperson for Northern Ireland, Wales and sport). Pete Wishart appointed as shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and minister for the Cabinet Office (formerly shadow header of the House; spokesperson for constitution). Tommy Sheppard appointed as shadow Leader of the House of Commons (formerly spokesperson for House of Lords, Scotland Office and Cabinet Office).
  • DUP – Jeffrey Donaldson elected as Westminster leader (formerly chief whip). Sammy Wilson elected as chief whip.

Local authorities

  • Lincolnshire County Council – Debbie Barnes appointed chief executive

Interest groups

  • National Citizen Service Trust – Mark Gifford to become chief executive on 2 March, replacing Michael Lynas.
  • Unicef UK – Sacha Deshmukh to become chief executive in April, replacing Mike Penrose.
  • Bowel Cancer UK – Genevieve Edwards to become chief executive in February, replacing Patrick Figgis who had been in the role on an interim basis.


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