Downing Street today announced the appointments of Lord Alderdice and the Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP as members of the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
Lord Alderdice replaces Baroness Maddock as the Liberal Democrat party nominee. Margaret Beckett replaces Alun Michael as the Labour party nominee. The appointments are effective from 1 August 2010 and 1 November 2010 respectively and for 3 years in the first instance.
Commenting on their appointment, Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, Sir Christopher Kelly, said:
"I am pleased that Lord Alderdice and Margaret Beckett - two very experienced politicians - are joining the Committee. Their knowledge and expertise will be particularly valuable during our current inquiry into party political finance and I look forward to working with them both.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to their predecessors, Baroness Maddock and Alun Michael, who contributed greatly to the Committee's work over the last five years."
The Prime Minister has also extended the appointments of three independent members, Lloyd Clarke, Elizabeth Vallance and Brian Woods-Scawen, until 31 May 2011.
Notes to Editors
1. Media enquiries and interview requests for the Committee chairman, Sir Christopher Kelly should go to Maggie O'Boyle.
2. Lord Alderdice is a fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He led the Alliance Party and has held a variety of positions in the Federation of European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Parties and Liberal International. He was one of the negotiators of the Good Friday Agreement. Raised to the peerage on October 1996, he took his seat on the Liberal Democrat benches in the House of Lords on 5 November that year. In 1998 Lord Alderdice was elected member for Belfast East and appointed Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly. In 2004 he was appointed as a Commissioner for the newly established Independent Monitoring Commission.
3. The Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP has been Labour MP for Derby South since 1983. She was Secretary of State for Trade and Industry 1997-98; President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 1998-2001; Secretary of State for: Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2001-06,Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 2006-07; Minister for Housing and Planning (attending Cabinet), Department for Communities and Local Government 2008-09 and has been Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee since 2008.
4. The Committee on Standards in Public Life is an Advisory Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by the Cabinet Office. The Chair and Members are appointed by the Prime Minister. The Committee was established in October 1994 with the following terms of reference: "To examine current concerns about standards of conduct of all holders of public office, including arrangements relating to financial and commercial activities, and make recommendations as to any changes in present arrangements which might be required to ensure the highest standards of propriety in public life. Additional terms of reference were announced on 12 November 1997: "To review issues in relation to the funding of political parties, and to make recommendations as to any changes in present arrangements."
5. The Committee is formed of 10 people - in addition to the Chair, there are three political members appointed by the Prime Minister on the recommendation of the leaders of the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrat Party and six independents appointed by the PrimeMinister. The full membership of the Committee is: Sir Christopher Kelly KCB, Chairman, Rt Hon Lord Alderdice, Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP, Lloyd Clarke QPM, Oliver Heald MP, Sir Derek Morris MA DPhil, Dame Denise Platt DBE, David Prince CBE, Dr Elizabeth Vallance JP, Dr Brian Woods-Scawen DL CBE.
6. The Committee announced it would be holding a full inquiry into the funding of political parties on 20 July 2010. At transcript of the exploratory hearing and additional information about the Committee and its work is available on the Committee's website www.public-standards.org.uk.
7. The Issues and Questions consultation paper for the Party Political Finance Inquiry is available on the Committee's website www.public-standards.org.uk or from 0207 276 2595.
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