Former Charity Commission chair set to head up public appointments watchdog

William Shawcross has been named as the government’s preferred candidate as the next Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Cabinet office minister Michael Gove has named Shawcross as the government’s choice to replace Peter Riddell, who is stepping down as Commissioner later this year.

Shawcross’s candidature is to be discussed by MPs at a pre-appointment hearing of the parliamentary Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee. The government will consider the committee’s recommendations before deciding on finalising Shawcross’ appointment.

He is currently heading an independent review of anti-terrorism strategy Prevent and was chair of the Charity Commission between 2012 and 2018.

Meanwhile, Riddell took up the post in April 2016 and his term ends at the end of September. His term was to have ended in April this year but was extended for a further six months.

“I am delighted to confirm William Shawcross as the government’s preferred candidate for the office of Commissioner for Public Appointments,” said Gove.

“William has all the attributes and experience needed for this important regulatory role that is vital to ensuring confidence in the public appointments made by both the UK and Welsh Governments.

Shawcross was replaced by Baroness Stowell as chair of the Charity Commission. She stepped down from the role earlier this year after deciding not to seek a second term. Commission board member Ian Karet is currently in the role on a temporary basis.

Stowell, time as chair of the charity regulator was marked by anumber of high profile controversial comments she made. This included urging charityleaders to “leave party politics” and “culture wars” out of their work.

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