Latest civil service & public affairs moves – March 13

New appointments in the civil service, UK politics, and public affairs, via the Dods People team


UK government

  • Prime Minister's Office – Reverend Canon Madhu Smitha Prasadam appointed as suffragan bishop of Huddersfield, succeeding The right reverend Jonathan Gibbs following his appointment as bishop of Rochester. Lord (Patrick) Hodge re-appointed as His Majesty’s lord high commissioner to the general assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2023.
  • Department for Culture, Media and Sport – Ministerial roles announced: Julia Lopez appointed as minister of state for media, tourism and creative industries; Stuart Andrew appointed as parliamentary under-secretary of state for sport, gambling and civil society and minister for equalities; Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay appointed as parliamentary under-secretary of state for arts and heritage and DCMS lords minister
  • Department for Education: Construction Industry Training Board – Holly Price re-appointed as board member for four years until 18 February 2027. Social Work England – Andrew McCulloch appointed as interim chair until 29 February 2024.
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Natural England – Mel Austen, Lynn Dicks and Dame Caroline Spelman appointed as board members for three years.
  • Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – Harriet King appointed as British high commissioner to the Republic of The Gambia from September, succeeding David Belgrove. Richard Montgomery appointed as British high commissioner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria from April, succeeding Catriona Laing who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment.
  • Department for Science, Innovation and Technology: Julia Lopez appointed as minister of state, in addition to her role in DMCS. Viscount Camrose appointed as parliamentary-under secretary of state. Council for Science and Technology – Professor Dame Carol Propper and Professor Keith Ridgway appointed as members.
  • HM Treasury – Rachel Kent appointed as chair of the review into the UK’s research and investment landscape.
  • Non-Ministerial Departments: HM Revenue & Customs – Paul Douglas appointed as interim adjudicator from 13 March.

Houses of Parliament

House of Commons

  • Rupa Huq – Labour whip restored.
  • Neil Coyle to be suspended from the service of the House for five sitting days (13-16 and 20 March).
  • House of Commons Commission – Sharon Hodgson added; Nicholas Brown discharged.
  • Public Accounts Commission – Sharon Hodgson added; Nicholas Brown discharged.
  • Finance Committee – Sharon Hodgson elected as chair.
  • Environmental Audit Committee – Cat Smith added; Helen Hayes discharged.

House of Lords

  • Lord Desai now sits as a crossbench peer; previously a non-affiliated peer.
  • AI in Weapon Systems Committee – Viscount Camrose discharged.
  • Ecclesiastical Committee – Lord Dannatt and Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede added; Baroness Howarth of Breckland and Lord Plant of Highfield discharged.
  • Horticultural Sector Committee – Lord Watson of Wyre Forest added.
  • Liaison Committee – Lord Bach added.
  • Statutory Instruments Joint Committee – Baroness Sater added.


  • Scottish National Party – Richard Thomson appointed as spokesperson for business, in addition to being spokesperson for international trade, Northern Ireland and Wales. Alan Brown appointed as spokesperson for energy security and net zero; previously spokesperson for energy and industrial strategy. John Nicolson is now spokesperson for culture, media and sport; previously spokesperson for digital, culture, media and sport. Chris Stephens appointed as spokesperson for housing and communities, in addition to being spokesperson for levelling up. Anum Qaisar appointed as spokesperson for international development. Carol Monaghan appointed as spokesperson for science, innovation and technology, in addition to being spokesperson for education.

Devolved administrations

Northern Ireland Executive

  • Libraries NI – Peter Johnston, Andrew McAuley and Martin McRandal appointed as councillor members until the 2027 local council elections (subject to their re-election in the 2023 local council elections).
  • Northern Ireland Ambulance Service – Jim Dennison re-appointed as non-executive director (lay) until 28 February 2027.
  • Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery – Nirmala Bhogal,  Katrin Lehmann, Sharon McRoberts,  Gary Mitchell and Ciara Scannell appointed until 31 January 2027; Amit Bhagwat, Eilidh McGregor and Janine Stockdale appointed until 12 February 2027.
  • Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority – Neil Bodger, Professor Stuart Elborn, Cheryl Lamont, Dr Nazia Latif, Mary McIvor, Alphonsus Maginness and Sarah Wakfer appointed as authority members until 31 January 2027.

Local authorities

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  • Arun District Council – James Hassett resigned as chief executive.
  • Dumfries and Galloway Council – Stephen Thompson (SNP) resigned as council leader; Gail Macgregor (Con) appointed as council leader.
  • City of York Council – Keith Aspden (Lib Dem) to stand down as council leader and councillor at the local elections in May.

Combined Authorities

  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority – Dr Nik Johnson began a phased return to work as Mayor on 6 March, following a three month leave of absence to receive medical treatment.


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Interest Groups

  • Help for Heroes – James Needham appointed as chief executive on a permanent basis; he has been interim chief executive since October 2022.
  • Save the Rhino International – Jo Shaw appointed as chief executive.
  • Sistah Space – Ngozi Fulani has temporarily stepped down as chief executive.

Trade Associations

  • Confederation of British Industry (CBI) – Tony Danker has stepped aside as director-general while an investigation takes place into complaints about his conduct at work; Matthew Fell appointed as interim director-general.

Read the most recent articles written by Dods People - Latest civil service & public affairs moves – February 19


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