Liam Fox bags ex-rail regulator as new department's chief economist

Former chief executive of the Office of Rail and Road has also been Defra and Home Office chief economist

By Civil Service World

28 Nov 2016

International Trade secretary Liam Fox has named Richard Price as chief economist at the Department for International Trade, as the new department builds capacity for the UK's departure from the European Union.

Price served for five years as chief executive of transport regulator the Office of Rail and Road, stepping down in February. 

He is a former chief economist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and has been acting as a senior adviser to that department since May this year.

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Price (pictured left) has previously served in a number of senior government roles, including as head of the Treasury enterprise team in the mid-2000s and as the Home Office's chief economist from 1998-2000.

Announcing the appointment, Fox said Price would bring "a wealth of experience in leading teams focusing on high profile and important government policy".

The international trade secretary, added: "His economic expertise will be vital in building the analytical capability of the department.

"As chief economist, his team’s crucial work will directly support the development and delivery of the UK’s international trade policy as we move towards leaving the EU."

Price, who will also act as head of analysis at the DIT, said it was a "privilege to join the department at this critical time, working to promote free and open trade and to counter protectionism".

He added: "I look forward to helping more UK businesses to thrive in global markets and promoting the UK as an international destination for trade, business and investment."

Price's appointment comes amid a major recruitment drive at the DIT, which is currently on the lookout for almost 100 extra officials across four different grades.

The Treasury also confirmed last week that the DIT and the Foreign Office are to benefit from an extra £26m a year by 2019-20 as the government seeks to boost its trade policy capability in preparation for Brexit.

Image courtesy UK Cabinet Office

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