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Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

Volume 699: debated on Tuesday 13 July 2021

[Relevant document: Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, First Report of 2021, Appointment of the Chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, HC 407.]8.53 pm

I beg to move,

That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will appoint Richard Lloyd OBE to the office of Chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority with effect from 1 September 2021 for the period ending on 31 August 2026.

The Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has produced a report, its first report of 2021, in relation to this motion.

The chairman of IPSA is appointed under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, and candidates must be selected on merit, on the basis of fair and open competition. The name of any candidate must be approved by the Speaker’s Committee for IPSA.

In this regard, a recruitment process for a new chairman was initially launched in the spring of 2020. That was paused and then subsequently started afresh. As is normal for these appointments, Mr Speaker appointed a panel, who conducted the longlisting, shortlisting and interviewing of candidates. The panel was chaired by Philippa Helme CB. The other members of the panel were Michelle Barnes, an independent panel member; Cindy Butts, a lay member of the Speaker’s Committee for IPSA; and Sir David Crausby, former Member of Parliament for Bolton North East. The panel was asked to report to Mr Speaker with a list of candidates it considered suitable for appointment to the role. After carefully considering the panel’s report, Mr Speaker recommended Richard Lloyd to the Speaker’s Committee as his preferred candidate for the post. At its meeting on 15 June, the Speaker’s Committee agreed to Mr Speaker’s selection of Mr Lloyd.

Richard Lloyd is currently a member of the IPSA board and has been interim chairman since 2019. I must say that he has been very approachable and friendly to deal with in that role. He is also senior independent director at the Financial Conduct Authority, a council member of the Advertising Standards Authority, and vice-chairman and founding trustee of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute. If the appointment is made, Richard Lloyd will serve as the chairman of IPSA for five years. I hope that the House will support this appointment and wish Mr Lloyd well in his important role. I commend the Humble Address to the House.

I do not intend to detain the House for long. The Leader of the House has laid out the process that was followed and I have pleasure in confirming both that I have met the new chair and that the care and attention that the Leader of the House describes was paid towards the recruitment process. The panel reported fully to the Speaker’s Committee and we were able to scrutinise the decision properly.

I welcome Richard Lloyd to his post. I put on record my thanks to him for already being available to me and the willingness with which he has signalled that he is able to hear and consider concerns that I may raise on behalf of colleagues across this House. I am pleased that he seems to understand the concern raised by many Members and staff about the time that is sometimes taken on dealing with IPSA matters, which of course takes away from the time when they are able to serve our constituents, who expect us, rightly, to account for our costs but also to be able to focus on them. I look forward to working with him closely and I am happy to support the Humble Address.

Scottish National party Members of course have no objection at all to this post being given to Richard Lloyd, who has served with distinction as interim chair of IPSA for the past few months. He has an abundant and very recognised career in the private sector and I am sure he will bring some of his skills to bear. As the Leader of the House correctly outlined, the recruitment process was gone through in the proper way. Richard Lloyd has been approachable when it comes to issues to do with IPSA and I hope that continues. There is a saying in this House, “Let’s not do an IPSA” when we are thinking about creating new institutions. The reputation of IPSA still has to be worked on, and I hope that the new chair will be able to take that forward. As regards the process and the appointment, we have absolutely no objections.

Question put and agreed to.