HC Deb 04 May 2000 vol 349 cc181-2W
Ms Moran

To ask the Prime Minister if he is in a position to announce the membership of the House of Lords Appointments Commission promised in "Modernising Government: Reforming the House of Lords" (Cmnd 4183). [121113]

The Prime Minister

Following an open recruitment exercise conducted in accordance with the principles of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, I have decided to appoint the following people, on the recommendation of the selection panel, as the independent Chairman and members of the Interim House of Lords Appointments Commission.

The Chairman will be Lord Stevenson of Coddenham, the Chairman of the Pearson Group and Halifax plc and a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords. The leaders of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties have been informed and are content for Lord Stevenson to be appointed as Chairman.

The independent members, chosen from a strong field of candidates, will be Mrs. Angela Sarkis CBE, the Chief Executive of the Church Urban Fund; Dame Deirdre Hine, previously Chief Medical Officer at the Welsh Office and Chairman of the Commission for Health Improvement; and Ms Felicity Huston, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Consumer Committee for Electricity and Deputy Chairman of the General Consumer Council of Northern Ireland.

In addition, the Commission will contain a member nominated by each of the three main political parties. The Labour Party member is the right hon. Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde. The Conservative Party member is the right hon. Lord Hurd of Westwell CH, CBE. The Liberal Democrat member is Lord Dholakia OBE, DL.

The seven members of the Commission will combine knowledge of the existing House of Lords with a diverse range of personal backgrounds. They will be well-qualified to take forward the process of appointing non-political peers to the House of Lords on a more open and transparent basis and to take on responsibility for vetting all nominations for peerages.