Government selects preferred candidate for Charity Commission Chair

By agency reporter
January 29, 2018

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport has selected Conservative peer Baroness Stowell as his preferred candidate for the Charity Commission Chair. Under the Charities Act 2011, the Secretary of State makes the appointment of the Charity Commission Chair.

Baroness Stowell of Beeston was Leader of the House of Lords and the Lord Privy Seal until July 2016.

Tina Stowell was made a Conservative peer in January 2011 and joined the Government in September the same year. As a junior minister she led the landmark Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act through the House of Lords in 2013 before being promoted to Minister for Communities.  She was promoted to Leader of the House of Lords and the Lord Privy Seal in 2014 and re-appointed to the same Cabinet post after the 2015 General Election.

Before joining the House of Lords, Tina Stowell’s career over the previous 25 years crisscrossed government, politics and the media. Until September 2010, she was the BBC’s Head of Corporate Affairs. Prior to this, she spent a short spell working for Granada Media, and for David Frost at Paradine, his own independent television and film production company.

She was a civil servant for ten years, working at the Ministry of Defence in London, the British Embassy in Washington and 10 Downing Street from 1991 to 1996. She left the Civil Service at the age of 28 and was awarded the MBE in the 1996 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Baroness Stowell was born and brought up in Beeston, just outside Nottingham. She attended a local comprehensive and moved to London at the age of 18 to join the civil service.

In December 2016, she received an Honorary Doctorate from Nottingham University. She is currently a member of the House of Lords Communications Select Committee.

The Charity Commission is the regulator of charities across England and Wales, and maintains the charity register. 

The Select Committee for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport will hold a pre-appointment hearing with Baroness Stowell on 20 February. The Committee’s conclusions will be considered carefully before deciding whether or not to proceed with the appointment.

It is a requirement of the Cabinet Office Governance Code for Public Appointments that the political activity of successful candidates be publicly disclosed. Baroness Stowell has declared that: she was leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords from 2014-2016; she has spoken on behalf of the Conservative Party and candidates during elections campaigns; and has canvassed on behalf of the Conservatives during election campaigns.

If her appointment as Charity Commission Chair is confirmed following a hearing by the Select Committee on 20 February, though not a statutory requirement, she has decided to resign immediately her party membership, the Conservative Whip in the House of Lords and become an independent, unaffiliated peer.

* Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport


Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.