Glenys Stacey to lead post-Brexit environment watchdog

Interim Ofqual chief led a farming regulation review for Defra last year
Dame Glenys Stacey. Photo: Sean Dempsey/PA Archive/PA Images

Dame Glenys Stacey, who was drafted in to lead Ofqual after this summer’s A-Level grades row, has been named as the government’s preferred candidate to lead its post-Brexit environmental watchdog.

Environment secretary George Eustice confirmed yesterday that Stacey, who was Ofqual’s chief regulator from 2012 to 2016 and returned to the qualifications body in August, has been chosen as the Office for Environmental Protection’s inaugural chair.

Stacey has led several oversight and regulatory bodies including Standards for England and Animal Health, which has since become part of the Animal and Plant Health Agency, most recently spending three years as HM inspector of probation.

She also chaired an independent review of farm regulation for Defra last year, which called for a shake-up including a new independent regulator.

The OEP will become an independent statutory body after the end of the Brexit transition period under the environment bill, and will be responsible for ensuring the UK upholds EU environmental standards.

However, MPs have warned the bill would neither give the office enough power to fulfil its role, nor enable it to “operate with sufficient independence from government”.

Stacey’s appointment is subject to a pre-appointment hearing by a select committee, after which ministers will make a final decision on whether to proceed.

Her selection follows a “rigorous process” under the ministerial governance code on public appointments, Defra said.

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