Wednesday 3 June 2015

Who are these characters? Unelected Ministers....

There has never been a need to be elected to be a Minister nor indeed to be a member or either House of Parliament at the time of your appointment.  I could be made a Minister right now and exercise the Crown's powers without ever being made a member of either House of Parliament.  Although without a means of holding me to account people might get a little angsty and demand I attend Parliament to answer questions.  There has always been the option of co-opting non Parliamentarian experts into Government by the means of a Life Peerage, but I have to say I have rarely seen so many made up at once (see below).  The SNP is a bit upset about Lord Dunlop because the Tory's single MP in Scotland means that they have had to make up a Lord to find someone else to deputise for the S of S of Scotland (that one single Tory MP).......Maude is understandable, and Bridges is just promotion for an in house policy wonk.  O'Neill, Altmann and Prior are sector SMEs brought in to help in tricky areas - but do they have any legitimacy in Govt?

Lord Dunlop is a former adviser to the Prime Minister on devolved constitutional issues. He was formerly the head of policy and research for the Scottish Conservative Party, special adviser to the Defence Secretary and a member of the Downing Street Policy Unit. He was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Scotland Office on 14 May 2015.
Lord Maude of Horsham served as MP for Horsham, West Sussex (1997-2015). He held several government posts, including Financial Secretary to the Treasury (1990-1992), and Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (1989-1990). He is also a former chair of the Conservative Party (2005-2007). He was appointed Minister of State for Trade and Investment on 11 May 2015.
Baroness Altmann was the coalition government’s Business Champion for Older Workers and is a former non-executive policy adviser to the Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street. She was appointed Minister of State for Pensions on 11 May 2015.
Lord O'Neill of Gatley is a former chief economist at Goldman Sachs. He was appointed Commercial Secretary to the Treasury on 14 May 2015.  
Lord Bridges of Headley is a former chair of the Conservative Research Department, and was the Conservative Party's campaign director (2006-2007). He was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office on 14 May 2015.
Lord Prior of Brampton is a former chair of the Care Quality Commission (2013-2015). He served as MP for North Norfolk (1997-2001) and is a former deputy chair and CEO of the Conservative Party. He was appointed Minister for NHS Productivity in May 2015.