MPs' committee to question Baroness Stowell, chair of the regulator

The hearing, on 18 March, will be the first time the committee has questioned her since a previous incarnation rejected her appointment in 2018

Baroness Stowell
Baroness Stowell

Baroness Stowell, chair of the Charity Commission, will appear before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee of MPs for the first time since it opposed her appointment to the role.

A committee statement today said Stowell and Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the regulator, would be questioned about the commission’s track record and performance since her appointment in February 2018.

The hearing, which will take place in parliament on 18 March, will also examine the commission’s high-profile investigations, including the one into Save the Children UK, the report of which was published this week, and the implementation of the regulator’s current strategy.

In February 2018, the committee, which consisted of different MPs at the time and was chaired by Damian Collins, the Conservative MP for Folkestone & Hythe, unanimously rejected Stowell as the government’s preferred candidate for the role because of concerns about her lack of charity sector experience and her political neutrality.

But Matt Hancock, the culture secretary at the time, decided to press ahead with the appointment.

Julian Knight, the Conservative MP for Solihull, is the new chair of the committee, which also includes Labour’s Kevin Brennan, a former Minister for Civil Society, and the Tories Damian Green, a former work and pensions secretary, and Damian Hinds, a former education secretary.

The committee said it wanted to hear evidence from people with relevant expertise and would be taking submissions until 5pm on 12 March. Evidence can be submitted here.

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