New director to 'strengthen oversight' of HS2

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has appointed Sir Jonathan Thompson as a non-executive director 'to represent the Government’s interests' on the board of HS2 Ltd.

The appointment of such directors was recommended by last year’s Oakervee Review of HS2 and follows three other non-executive directors taking places on the board last year. Ian King, Elaine Holt and Tom Harris were appointed to strengthen oversight and scrutiny of what is the UK’s largest infrastructure project

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The Department for Transport (DfT) said Sir Jon brings strong financial management and experience in leading major projects. He is currently chief executive of the Financial Reporting Council and was previously the permanent secretary at both the Ministry of Defence and HM Revenue and Customs.

HS2 minister Andrew Stephenson said: ‘Sir Jon will be an invaluable asset to the board of HS2 Ltd and will strengthen oversight and accountability as this vital project is delivered.

‘He joins HS2’s board at an exciting time as construction of Phase One ramps up and Phase 2a has been given the green light to begin - creating thousands of jobs, driving our economic recovery from COVID-19.’

Sir Jonathan Thompson said: ‘I am delighted to have been appointed to the Board of HS2, a project in the national interest, and one where hopefully I can contribute strongly to delivering on time and to budget.’

The DfT said the process of appointing a new chair of HS2 Ltd is now underway after the current chair, Allan Cook CBE, confirmed his intention to leave the company this summer.

Officials said construction of Phase One of HS2 is underway and is now supporting over 15,000 jobs and over 500 apprenticeships. In February, the Phase 2a Bill was given Royal Assent.

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