The appointment of the next chair of the Charity Commission is likely to be delayed until next year after a parliamentary pre-appointment hearing scheduled for next week was cancelled.
The successful candidate was due to appear before MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on 12 December, but the meeting will not now go ahead as scheduled.
The meeting was cancelled after Karen Bradley, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, wrote to the committee yesterday informing them that the government had not yet chosen its preferred candidate for the position.
Third Sector understands that the appointment of the next chair is still awaiting a decision from 10 Downing Street.
Parliament breaks for Christmas on 21 December, returning on 8 January, which makes the appointment of the next chair of the regulator unlikely until next month at the earliest.
It raises the prospect of an interregnum period once the term of office of William Shawcross, the current chair, comes to an end on 31 January.
Eryl Besse was appointed deputy chair of the commission until the end of Shawcross’s tenure, but her term as a commission board member continues until the end of 2018, so she could become interim chair if necessary.
The Centre for Public Appointments started advertising for a successor to Shawcross in August.
Rob Wilson, the former Minister for Civil Society, is among those who are understood to have been interviewed for the position. Wilson lost his Reading East seat in the general election in June.