Latest civil service & public affairs moves – March 18

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

UK government

  • HM Treasury – Second permanent secretary Beth Russell to take on responsibility at permanent secretary level for all public spending alongside her current responsibilities for tax and growth when fellow second perm sec Cat Little departs next month. Conrad Smewing, director general for public spending, to take on most of Little’s day-to-day responsibilities including on spending control, public sector pay and productivity, and preparations for the Spending Review. Treasury considering recruiting a new second perm sec to replace Little. 
  • Prime Minister's Office – The Duke of Edinburgh appointed as His Majesty’s lord high commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 2024.
  • Department for Culture, Media and Sport: BBC – Sir Robbie Gibb has been re-appointed as board member for England for four years from 7 May until 6 May 2028. S4C – Guto Bebb appointed as interim chair until 31 March 2025.
  • Ministry of Defence – Admiral Sir Tony Radakin’s term as chief of the defence Staff extended until autumn 2025.
  • Department for Energy Security and Net Zero: National Energy System Operator – Dr Paul Golby named as the government’s preferred candidate to be the inaugural chair and will be scrutinised by the Energy Security and Net Zero Select Committee at a forthcoming pre-appointment hearing on 24 April.
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – Will Quince as appointed an Independent Adviser to support the government’s ongoing work to improve food procurement in the public sector. Natural England – Lord Blencathra, Catherine Dugmore and Henry Robinson’s terms as board members extended for nine months from 12 March until 11 December 2024.
  • Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – Alex Ellis CMG appointed as His Majesty’s ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain and non-resident ambassador to the Principality of Andorra from the summer, succeeding Hugh Elliott who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission – John Raine re-appointed as chair for three years until 31 January 2027.
  • Home Office: Animals in Science Committee – Professor David Main re-appointed as chair until May 2025; Professor Jonathan Birch, Caroline Chadwick, Dr Stuart Greenhill, Professor Martin Knight, Tina O’Mahony, Professor Hazel Screen, Dr Dharaminder Singh and Dr Carl Westmoreland appointed as member for three years until January and February 2027; Professor Johanna Gibson, Professor Andrew Jackson, Wendy Jarrett Professor Stephen May and Professor Christine J Watson re-appointed for three years until March 2026.
  • Ministry of Justice – Susie Alegre, Nicholas Cobill, Barbara Fontaine, Melissa Harrison, Bronia Hartley, Abigail Holt, Matt Jackson and Belinda McRae appointed as court examiners for five years from 1 April. Privy Council Office – Niall Clarke-Petty appointed as deputy clerk of the council.
  • Non-Ministerial Departments: Government Legal Department – Former first civil service commissioner Dame Janet Paraskeva appointed as lead non-executive board member for three years; Tim Fallowfield appointed as non-executive board member for three years.

Houses of Parliament

House of Commons

  • Lee Anderon, MP for Ashfield, defected from the Conservative Party to Reform UK on 11 March.
  • Andy McDonald, MP for Middlesbrough, had the Labour whip restored on 11 March.
  • Joint Committee on Human Rights – Sarah Dines added; David Simmonds discharged.
  • Liaison Sub-Committee on Scrutiny of Strategic Thinking in Government – Jeremy Quin added.
  • Treasury Committee – Samantha Dixon added; Emma Hardy discharged.

House of Lords

  • Lord McAvoy (Lab/Co-op, life peer) died on 8 March.
  • Paul Goodman raised to the peerage as Lord Goodman of Wycombe, of High Wycombe in the County of Buckinghamshire on 11 March. The date he will be introduced in the House still to be announced.
  • James Jamieson raised to the peerage as Lord Jamieson, of Maulden in the County of Bedfordshire on 11 March and will be introduced in the House on 18 March.
  • Rosa Monckton raised to the peerage as Baroness Monckton of Dallington Forest, of Earlsdown in the County of East Sussex on 12 March and will be introduced in the House on 21 March.
  • John Hannett raised to the peerage as Lord Hannett of Everton, of Bramley-Moore Dock in the City of Liverpool on 12 March and will be introduced in the House on 19 March.
  • Carmen Smith raised to the peerage as Baroness Smith of Llanfaes, of Llanfaes in the County of Ynys Môn on 13 March and will be introduced in the House on 21 March.
  • Jane Ramsey raised to the peerage as Baroness Ramsey of Wall Heath, of Dulwich in the London Borough of Southwark on 13 March and will be introduced in the House on 19 March.
  • Ayesha Hazarika raised to the peerage as Baroness Hazarika, of Coatbridge in the County of Lanarkshire on 14 March. The date she will be introduced in the House still to be announced.
  • Baroness Black of Strome and Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws appointed to the Order of the Thistle.

Devolved administrations

Scottish Government

  • Professor Jason Leitch to stand down as national clinical director at the end of April.

Northern Ireland Assembly

  • Assembly and Executive Review Committee – Kate Nicholl added; Sian Mulholland discharged.

Northern Ireland Executive

  • Matrix Panel – Robert Hill appointed as chair for five years.
  • Northern Ireland Housing Executive – Keith Kerrigan, Paul McCusker and Cathal Mallaghan appointed as board members until the next local council election; John McMullan re-appointed as vice-chair until 31 March 2029.
  • Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission – District judge Anne Marshall appointed as member for five years until 10 March 2029.

Local authorities

  • Barnet Council – John Hooton to stand down as chief executive at the end of June.
  • Birmingham City Council – Deborah Cadman to stand down as chief executive at the end of March; Professor Graeme Betts appointed as acting chief executive while a permanent replacement is sought.
  • King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council – Lorraine Gore to retire as chief executive later this year.
  • Nottingham City Council – Councillor David Mellen to stand down as council leader in May.


Interest groups

  • ActionAid UK – Hannah Bond, Taahra Ghazi and Shade Odupelu appointed as interim co-chief executives.
  • Leukaemia Care – Colin Dyer appointed as chief executive from April.
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists – Sonia Walter appointed as chief executive; she has been Interim chief executive since December 2023.
  • Safe Passage – Wanda Wyporska appointed as interim chief executive.

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