Home Office launches hunt for new Migration Advisory Committee chief

Home Office puts applicants on notice that highly-influential panel's role “may evolve” post-Brexit


Home secretary Priti Patel Credit: PA

By Jim.Dunton

17 Jan 2020

The Home Office has launched a recruitment campaign to find a successor to Migration Advisory Committee chair Prof Alan Manning and is offering £40,000 a year for the two-days-a-week role.

London School of Economics labour expert Prof Manning had been due to end his three-year term chairing the committee in October, however his tenure was extended by home secretary Priti Patel until the end of this month.

The move followed commissions for Brexit-related reviews of immigration policy. In June last year then home secretary Sajid Javid asked MAC to look at the case for regional earnings thresholds for UK work visas and the potential for offering visas for “high public value” jobs that pay less than £30,000. His successor as home secretary Patel subsequently requested that the review be expanded to look at options for an Australian-style points-based visa system. 


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In September, Manning cautioned that the timescale for the expanded review was short for a “substantial piece of work on an important issue”. In November, he announced he had agreed to stay on as MAC chair for an extra three months “to complete work on the current commission”. 

He added: “This will provide continuity until our report is published.”

The recruitment pack for Manning’s successor sets a deadline for applicants of 17 Februrary, but suggests a final appointment is not likely to be confirmed internally until early April.

In the document Glyn Williams, director general of borders, immigration, citizenship system, policy and international at the Home Office, said the MAC had established a world-class reputation for the quality of its advice since it was established in 2007.

But he hinted that the next chair would be likely to hand over a different MAC to their successor at the end of their three-year term. 

“The precise role of the MAC may evolve but it will remain absolutely central to policy-making in this area,” he said.

“We are about to enter an exciting new chapter in migration policy with the end of EU free movement following the UK’s departure from the EU and the introduction of an Australian-style points-based system. 

“We are looking for a high calibre person to lead the MAC through this next phase.”

The Home Office told Civil Service World that the MAC report was scheduled for publication before Manning's extended term of office finished. 

This story was updated at 16:50 on 17 January 2020 to include additional information from the Home Office

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