Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hooray!  Britain's  Leather lady is gone

'Quango queen' accused of running class war on private schools steps down

Dame Suzi Leather will stand down as chair of the Charity Commission in July after six years in the post, the government has confirmed.

Her departure follows criticism that she has pursued a class war against independent schools by demanding that they provide services to the poorest children or face losing their charitable status.

Private school headteachers and Conservative MPs have objected to the commission’s enforcement of new laws, introduced under Labour,requiring charities to prove they provide “public benefit” in order to keep lucrative charitable tax-breaks. A review of the laws has since been launched.

Dame Suzi, 56, has been nicknamed the “quango queen” for holding 30 public-sector posts over the past decade and a half.

Last year she was paid £80,000 for her part-time post at the Charity Commission, which she has held since August 2006.

Her previous roles include chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the School Food Trust, an NHS Trust and a community project. She was also the first Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “Dame Suzi Leather, the Chair of the Charity Commission, is due to step down on 31 July after six years in office.  “We will be advertising for a new Chair of the Charity Commission very shortly.

“As a public appointment, the recruitment process will be conducted in line with the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies, under the principles of merit, fairness and openness.”

A spokesman for the Charity Commission said Dame Suzi had reached the end of her second term of office and was ineligible for a further term.


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