House of Lords Appointments Commission

House of Lords Appointment Commission

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New independent members of House of Lords Appointments Commission

30 October 2008

The Prime Minister has today appointed three new independent members to the House of Lords Appointments Commission.

The new members are Baroness Jane Campbell DBE, Professor Dame Joan Higgins and Dr John Low CBE. They will take up their posts immediately for a fixed term of five years.

Chairman of the Commission, Lord Jay said:

"The Commission’s task is important and I am delighted that three such experienced and independent people from different sectors will be joining us. I very much look forward to working with them."

Notes to editors

  1. Media enquiries about the work of the House of Lords Appointments Commission should go to Maggie O’Boyle on 07880 740627.
  2. Baroness Jane Campbell DBE progressed through a number of local government equal opportunities roles, principally focusing on disability issues before being appointed as an Independent Consultant on Direct Payments (1994-96). She then co-led the National Centre for Independent Living before becoming the founding Chair of the Social Care Institute of Excellence (2001-2005). She also served as a Commissioner to the Disability Rights Commission before it was subsumed into the Equalities & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) last year. She is now a Commissioner at the EHRC and chairs its Disability Commission. She was appointed as a cross bench peer in 2007.
  3. Professor Dame Joan Higgins’ academic career in social and health policy at Southampton and then Manchester, sits alongside significant healthcare advisory work and part-time appointments. She was Chair of the Christie Hospital NHS Trust (2002-2007), a leading cancer centre. Since 2007, she has been Chair of the NHS Litigation Authority, which defends the NHS against claims of clinical (and other) negligence. She is also a member of the Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel for the Ministry of Justice.
  4. Dr John Low CBE has a mix of public and private sector experience, notably as Chief Executive of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) (1999-2007), before taking over as Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) later that year. He has been Chairman of ACEVO since 2003. His early career was in research and in science-based roles in the private sector. He became a Director in charge of R&D for a Swiss technology business, Sortex in 1988, and left in 1999 to join RNID, firstly as a Director before being promoted to Chief Executive.
  5. The House of Lords Appointments Commission has seven members, four, including the Chair, who are independent of government and political parties and three who are appointed to represent the main political parties. The current political nominees are the Rt Hon Baroness (Brenda) Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde (Labour), Lord (Navnit) Dholakia OBE DL (Liberal Democrat), and, the Rt Hon Lord (Douglas) Hurd of Westwell CH CBE (Conservative).
  6. The Chairman, if not in receipt of a salary from public funds, receives remuneration of £8,000 per annum. Members, if not in receipt of a salary from public funds, receive remuneration of £3,000 per annum. All Members are reimbursed for actual expenses incurred.
  7. The appointments of Baroness Jane Campbell, Professor Dame Joan Higgins and Dr John Low were made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice. All three have declared no political activity within the past five years. 
  8. Further information on the Appointments Commission can be obtained from www.lordsappointments.gov.uk. The Appointments Commission is a non-statutory advisory body set up by the Prime Minister to make recommendations for non-party-political peerages. The Commission’s remit is to find people of distinction who will bring authority and expertise to the House of Lords. The House of Lords Appointments Commission has now recommended a total of 49 non-party-political peerages to the Prime Minister. The Commission also vets nominations for life peers, including those nominated by the UK political parties, to ensure the highest standards of propriety.