Shock departure of Compact chief

John Stoker, the Compact commissioner, has resigned after less than a year in the job. The Commission for the Compact announced today that Stoker had handed in his resignation with immediate effect for personal reasons.

John Stoker, resigned as Compact Commissioner
John Stoker, resigned as Compact Commissioner
The decision leaves the commission with vacancies in both of its top jobs. Eleven weeks ago, Angela Sibson, former chief executive of the commission, quit less than six months into the job (Third Sector Online, 18 June).

Helen Baker, non-executive director at the commission and chair of mental health and learning disability charity Advance Housing and Support, has been appointed interim commissioner until a permanent successor can be found.

Stoker took up the two-day a week, £40,000-a-year post in October. In his resignation letter to Phil Hope, the third sector minister, he said: “I regret that I am unable for personal reasons to serve a full term as the first commissioner for the Compact.”

He added that he thought it was a good time to stand down. Stoker said: “Earlier this week, the Prime Minister restated the Government’s commitment to the renewal of the Compact with the voluntary and community sector, to give more stability of funding to the sector.

“Going now will allow the commission’s discussions about this to be taken forward in the coming months without interruption.”

In response, Hope said Stoker had been instrumental in setting up the commission. “I am confident that the commission he leaves behind will continue to develop and build on some real achievements in strengthening and implementing the Compact,” he said.

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