A qualified chartered accountant, Sir Peter also has impeccable credentials as a Whitehall mandarin.
Until he left the civil service in 1992, Sir Peter served as second permanent secretary in the Cabinet Office and also acted as project manager to the landmark next steps programme of civil service reform.
Before that, he spent 16 years in the Treasury, rising from the management accounting department to deputy secretary.
Since leaving the civil service Sir Peter has largely concentrated on financial matters. He was a member of the Audit Commission for six years and headed the Foundation for Accountancy and Financial Management for seven where he promoted accountancy and financial expertise in Central and Eastern Europe.
Sir Peter is a widely published writer on government and finance and is often a thorn in the side of his former employers – frequently criticising the centralising tendency of Whitehall and the influence of the Treasury over policy-making and delivery at the expense of financial stewardship.
This is not Sir Peter’s first brush with a manifesto either; before the last election he contributed extensively to The Guardian’s alternative manifesto.
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