Labour MP's partner tipped for audit post
James Strachan, the partner of Labour minister Baroness Blackstone, has been recommended as the next chairman of local government watchdog, the Audit Commission, according to reports.
Strachan, 48, is expected to step down as chief executive of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf next month to make himself available for the post, the FT said today.
His recommendation has been criticised by the Tories who said it was ‘inappropriate for the partner of a government minister to be in charge of an organisation whose be-all and end-all is impartiality’.
The position has been vacant for almost a year after the government decided not to renew the contract of Dame Helena Shovelton. Lord Norman Warner was due to take on the post, but this move was vetoed by the Local Government Association.
The appointment is subject to approval by the prime minister and must then go out for consultation to the Confederation of British Industry, the LGA and other bodies.