Latest civil service & public affairs moves – March 14

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

UK government

  • Prime Minister's Office – Peter Wilson appointed as principal private secretary to the prime minister from 14 March, replacing Martin Reynolds, who will return to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Iain Macaulay appointed as Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for the Western Isles, succeeding Donald Martin who retires on 21 March.
  • Ministry of Defence: Women in Defence Charter – Sam des Forges appointed as defence co-chair.
  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: Charity Commission – Orlando Fraser announced as the government's preferred candidate for chair. Fraser will now appear before MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for pre-appointment scrutiny (date to be confirmed). Theatres Trust – Dave Moutrey appointed as chair; James Dacre, Suba Das, Stephanie Hall and Lucy Osborne appointed as trustees for three years from 21 February until 20 February 2025.
  • Home Office – Jonathan Hall QC appointed as independent reviewer of terrorism legislation for three years from 23 May until 22 May 2025. Lord Hughes of Ombersley appointed to chair the inquiry into the death of Dawn Sturgess, who died in July 2018 following exposure to the nerve agent Novichok. The inquiry will commence on 17 March.

Houses of Parliament

House of Commons

  • Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee – Rupa Huq added; Alex Davies-Jones discharged.
  • Home Affairs Committee – Carolyn Harris added; Andrew Gwynne discharged.

House of Lords

  • Richard Harrington to be appointed as a life peer; also appointed minister of state for refugees in the Department for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Home Office.

Devolved administrations

Scottish Government

  • Scottish Human Rights Commission – Ian Duddy nominated for appointment as chair.
  • National Bairns’ Hoose Governance Group – Val de Souza appointed as chair.

Welsh Government

  • Arts Council of Wales – Michael Elliott appointed as interim chief executive from 14 March.
  • Careers Wales – Erica Cassin appointed as chair; James Harvey appointed as Board Member.
  • Sport Wales – Baroness Grey-Thompson appointed as chair from 4 July.

Northern Ireland Assembly

  • Edwin Poots resigned as MLA for Lagan Valley on 7 March; his appointment as minister of agriculture, environment and rural affairs automatically fell as a result of his resignation.
  • Edwin Poots was co-opted as MLA for Belfast South on 7 March and re-nominated to the post of minister of agriculture, environment and rural affairs.

Northern Ireland Executive

The Executive Office announced a perm sec-level reshuffle last week:

  • Katrina Godfrey, currently permanent secretary at the Department for Infrastructure, appointed as permanent secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs from April.
  • Julie Harrison, currently at the Department of Justice, appointed as permanent secretary of the Department for Infrastructure from April.
  • Peter May, currently permanent secretary at the Department of Justice, appointed as permanent secretary of the Department of Health from April.
  • Richard Pengelly, currently permanent secretary at the Department of Health, appointed as permanent secretary of the Department of Justice from April.
  • Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Agency – Fred Smyth re-appointed as non-executive (corporate governance) member and Gillian McGaughey re-appointed as non-executive (Llgal) member until 31 January 2023.
  • Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland – Gerard Guckian and Simon Rogers re-appointed as non-executive (lay) members until 25 February 2026.
  • Advisory Panel to review ‘The Developing Women in the Community’ pilot programme – Louise Coyle appointed as chair; Alison Wallace, Eileen Murphy, Rachel Powell, Kate Clifford, Sarah Burrows, Kendall Bousquet, Christopher Farrington, Joanne McPadden and Carolyn Mada appointed as members.

Local authorities

  • Blackburn with Darwen Council – Mohammed Khan OBE (Labour) to stand down as council leader and as a councillor at the local elections in May.
  • Slough Borough Council – Josie Wragg sacked for gross misconduct as chief executive.


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Interest Groups

  • Barnardo’s – Lynn Perry MBE appointed as chief executive.
  • DeMontfort University – Tracey Jessup, currently UK parliament’s chief digital and information officer, appointed chief transformation officer.
  • National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) – Sarah Vibert appointed as chief executive; she has been interim chief executive since January 2021

Read the most recent articles written by Dods People - Latest civil service & public affairs moves – April 15


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