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Eight years ago, the TaxPayers’ Alliance reported that “in the last year, five times more Labour people were appointed to public bodies than Tories”.

It currently reports that almost half of avowedly political appointees last year owed their allegiance to Labour Party, compared to less than a third for the Conservatives.

Despite the selection of some Party members or supporters to fill important posts, over time, the Conservatives have punched beneath their weight when it comes to public appointments.  One of the reasons seems to be that Tories simply don’t apply in the same number as Labour supporters.

To help remedy this, each week we put up links to some of the main public appointments vacancies, so that qualified Conservatives can be aware of the opportunities presented.

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Home Office – Prisons and Probation Ombudsman

“The PPO’s remit is determined by Terms of Reference set by the Secretary of State for Justice. The role is impartial of the services in remit, which include those provided by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, the immigration estate and the National Probation Service for England and Wales… In carrying out the duties of the office, the PPO has responsibility for around 100 members of staff and in 2021/2022 a budget of circa £5.8 million. On occasion, Ministers will invite the PPO to undertake investigations which fall outside of the usual remit. The PPO is also a key member of the Ministerial Board on Deaths in Custody, which brings together Ministers, senior officials, experts and practitioners to enable better learning and sharing of lessons across the custodial sectors.”

Time: Full-time

Remuneration: £100,000 per annum plus pension

Closes: 10 January

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Ofqual – Board Member

“Most of us will have memories of taking exams as part of our school career. Qualifications – taken in schools, colleges, training centres or the workplace – play a key role, not just in our education system but in our economy too. They open doors to new opportunities. For employers, they help to inform recruitment and to develop their people. Ofqual’s job, as the independent regulator for qualifications and assessment in England, is to regulate the over 170 organisations that provide those qualifications. The Ofqual Board is the legal authority responsible for the regulation of qualifications in England. It provides leadership and direction to Ofqual, setting strategic aims, values and standards. We are recruiting up to six high calibre individuals to join the Ofqual Board. Most importantly, we’re looking for experienced, strategic, pragmatic and collaborative individuals who are comfortable working in a rapidly changing policy environment.”

Time: Up to 20 days per annum

Remuneration: £6,000 per annum

Closes: 10 January

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Home Office – Independent Examiner of Complaints

“The Home Office committed to setting up an Independent Complaints Examiner function in our response to the Windrush Lessons Learned Review to ensure we are more open to scrutiny, and to learn from customer and stakeholder feedback. We continually strive to identify ways to improve the services we deliver but we recognise that we don’t always get it right. The Independent Complaints Examiner (ICE) will provide an independent route for customers who are not happy with the Department’s initial response to their complaint with the hope that, through impartial investigation and balanced reasoning, this will result in satisfactory resolution.  The ICE will also act as a figurehead for continual service learning and improvement across the department: identifying learning from complaints and acting as a critical friend at a senior level to ensure our services improve as a result.”

Time: Three-year term

Remuneration: £95,000 per annum, pro rata

Closes: 10 January

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Regulatory Horizons Council – Chair

“A wave of technological innovation is creating new industries, disrupting existing ones and transforming the way things are made and the way we live. From AI-powered legal services to autonomous ships, new products, services and business models are emerging which don’t fit with existing regulatory systems. Following the White Paper on Regulation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Government set up the Regulatory Horizons Council (RHC) to identify the implications of technological innovation with high potential benefit for the UK economy and society and advise the government on regulatory reform needed to support its rapid and safe introduction.”

Time: Up to 48 days per annum

Remuneration: £480 per diem

Closes: 13 January

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Research England – Executive Chair

The Executive Chair, working with the Research England Council Members, is responsible for setting the strategic vision for RE and contributing to the wider direction of UKRI. As a visible and credible leader of Research England you will provide direction, ensuring delivery research, skills, and infrastructure investments. As a member of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Executive Committee, the Executive Chair will be accountable to, and work closely with, the UKRI Chief Executive Officer. The Research England’s Executive Chair may also be responsible for leading and delivering one or more cross cutting areas for UKRI.”

Time: Full time

Remuneration: £120,000-144,500 per annum, plus bonus

Closes: 16 January

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Home Office – Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

“It’s a sad fact that around the world today, millions of men, women and children are cruelly enslaved and exploited. However, this is not something that just happens overseas, it is happening here and now across cities, towns and villages in the UK. The Government is committed to tackling this abhorrent crime, building on the UK’s strong track record in supporting victims and pursuing and punishing the perpetrators. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 established the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to drive up the strategic response by Governments and its partners to tackle modern slavery in the UK and overseas. We are looking for an outstanding candidate to take up the post of Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. You will have a track record of strategic leadership, a clear vision for the role, and will be able to engage people from across a range of backgrounds and viewpoints.”

Time: Full time

Remuneration: £130,000 per annum

Closes: 17 January

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Competition and Markets Authority – Chair

“The new Chair will lead an effective Board, setting the strategy for the organisation to meet new challenges including supporting the UK economy to grow post-coronavirus pandemic and taking more, and more complex, cases previously heard by the European Commission. The Non-Executive Chair, together with the Non-Executive members of the Board, will bring appropriate challenge to the decisions made by the executive in running the organisation. The Chair must work effectively with the CMA’s Chief Executive, executive team, Non-Executive members, and the CMA’s panel of independent competition and consumer experts. In doing so, the Chair will need to gain and retain the confidence of a wide range of stakeholders including Government, business, consumer groups, competition specialists and other international competition authorities.”

Time: Approx. two days per week

Remuneration: £106,666 per annum

Closes: 17 January

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Historic Royal Palaces – Chair

“Historic Royal Palaces is a leading independent charity that wants to make deep connections with people through the six sites of national importance in its care. We are seeking a Chair to lead our Board through a period of recovery after the Covid pandemic, to achieve successes in the future as we have in the past. The Appointment of Chair of the Board is made by Her Majesty The Queen, following the recommendation of the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. DCMS is committed to eliminating discrimination and advancing equality of opportunity in its public appointments. We particularly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups, those based outside London and the South-East and applicants who have achieved success through non-traditional educational routes.”

Time: Approx. two days per week

Remuneration: None

Closes: 21 January

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National Highways – Non-Executive Director

“Highways are essential to connect people to places. They are used by everybody, every day, whether getting to a destination or delivering goods for consumption. Safe and reliable roads are vital for the economy and public wellbeing. National Highways manage and improve the UK’s motorways and major A-roads, helping customers have safer, smoother and more reliable journeys. Beyond that, National Highways are committed to working with Government to achieve zero carbon and exploiting the full potential of the digital revolution. The role is a crucial one and the incumbent will have the opportunity to help shape the future of the UK’s roads and ensure the organisation’s continued success. The National Highways Board holds the executive team to account and provides oversight, governance and assurance to the organisation. The new Non-Executive Director will be heavily involved in providing organisational strategic direction and overseeing all National Highways functions.”

Time: Approx. 27 days per annum

Remuneration: £25,000 per annum

Closes: 21 January