House of Lords Appointments Commission – new non-party-political peers
Two new non-party-political peers recommended by the House of Lords Appointments Commission were announced today.
The new peers are:
- Donald Curry, Chair of NFU Mutual Insurance Society and non-executive Chair of the Better Regulation Executive. He is also the founder and Chair of the North East-based charity ‘At Home in the Community’, which provides care for people with learning disabilities.
- Dr Indarjit Singh, Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations UK. He is the Vice Chair and founding member of the Inter Faith Network UK, a national body promoting inter faith understanding, and is Head of the Sikh Chaplaincy Service.
They will sit on the crossbenches.
Notes to Editors
- Media enquiries about the work of the House of Lords Appointments Commission should go to Maggie O'Boyle on 07880 740627. Further information on the Appointments Commission can be obtained from www.lordsappointments.gov.uk.
- Sir Donald Curry is the Chair of NFU Mutual Insurance Society (a leading rural general insurance and life/pensions company) and is also the non-executive Chair of the Better Regulation Executive, which works with government departments and regulators to help reduce regulatory burdens and red tape. Since 2009 he has been the Chair of Leckford Estates (a 4,000 acre estate owned by Waitrose/John Lewis Partnership) and adviser to the John Lewis Partnership and Waitrose on agricultural and food strategy. He founded the charity ‘At Home in the Community’ in 1991, and remains the Chair of the organisation, which is based in the North East of England and provides care for people with learning disabilities. Sir Donald is a former Chair of the Meat and Livestock Commission and served for many years as an adviser to government on sustainable farming and food. In 2001 he was asked by the Prime Minister to review farming and food policy, and his subsequent Report ‘Farming and Food – a sustainable future’ (The Curry Report) led to a fundamental review of Government policy and influenced the Common Agricultural Policy reform package of 2003. He currently farms 440 acres of arable and lowland grass in Northumberland.
- Dr Indarjit Singh CBE is the Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations UK. He is the Vice Chair and founding member of the Inter Faith Network UK, a national body promoting inter faith understanding, and is Head of the Sikh Chaplaincy Service, which works for the pastoral care of Sikhs in prisons. He is also the co-ordinator of pastoral care for Sikhs in hospitals and in the Armed Forces, and a trustee of the World Congress of Faiths. Dr Singh has represented the UK Sikh community on national occasions, including the Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph and the Westminster Abbey Service to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the coronation of HM the Queen. In 2008 he became the first Sikh to address a major conference at the Vatican, when he gave a keynote address on the need for respect and tolerance between world faiths. He has served on the Home Secretary’s Advisory Council on Race Relations; on the British Medical Association’s Medical Ethics Committee; and was a member of a working group which advised the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for International Development on issues of third world debt and poverty relief. Since 1984, he has been a regular contributor to ‘Thought for the Day’ on Radio 4’s Today Programme, and has made frequent World Service broadcasts. He has a First Class Certificate in Mine Management and has worked on mining and civil engineering projects in the UK, India and Dubai.
- 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 Commission recommends individuals on merit and their ability to contribute effectively to the work of the House. The House of Lords Appointments Commission has now recommended a total of 59 non-party-political peerages to the Prime Minister, drawn from well over 4,000 nominations. The Commission also vets nominations for life peers, including those nominated by the UK political parties, for propriety.
- The membership of the House of Lords Appointments Commission comprises four independent members: Lord (Michael) Jay of Ewelme GCMG (Chairman), Baroness Jane Campbell, Professor Dame Joan Higgins and Dr John Low and three members nominated by each of the three main political parties: Rt Hon Baroness (Ros) Scott of Needham, Lord (Garry) Hart of Chilton and Rt Hon Lord (Michael) Howard of Lympne QC The Chairman and independent members were selected through open competition.