§ Mr. Thurnham
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will announce the chairman and deputy chairman of the new human fertilisation and embryology authority.552W
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
I am pleased to announce that Professor Colin Campbell, vice-chancellor of Nottingham university and emeritus professor of jurisprudence at the Queen's university, Belfast and Lady Brittan JP, member of the Equal Opportunities Commission, have accepted appointment as respectively chairman and deputy chairman. As the human fertilisation and embryology authority cannot be set up until the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has received Royal Assent, their acceptance is on a provisional basis until then.
The new authority will have a major task to prepare the way for operating the licensing and other powers for which the legislation provides and I think it right to make these appointments now so that this work can begin. The remaining membership of the authority will be announced later.
In the period before the new authority assumes its full powers, probably in the summer of 1991, I very much hope that the interim licensing authority will continue to perform the functions for which it was set up in 1985 by the Medical Research Council and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists with the same vigour and commitment as it has always shown.