The IPT is sad to be saying goodbye to the Chairman of its Trustee Board. After serving the maximum time permitted on the Trustee Board, Baroness Margaret Prosser OBE stepped down on 9 September 2020 and has been replaced by John Howell OBE MP.
Baroness Prosser is a member of the House of Lords having been elevated to a peerage in 2004. Before life as a parliamentarian, she enjoyed a distinguished career as a trade unionist including a period as Deputy Secretary General of the Transport & General Workers Union. She was also the National Treasurer of the Labour Party for five years between 1996-2001.
In 2015 Baroness Prosser completed an IPT Fellowship. Her core learning objective was to understand more about the manufacturing sector – specifically focusing on skills, employment, and hi-tech manufacturing. She has been an IPT Trustee since 2012 and the Chairman for the Trustee Board since 2017.
The IPT would like to extend a bottomless thanks to Baroness Prosser. She is a great advocate and ambassador for the Trust and its ambition to create valuable business-focused learning experiences for parliamentarians. Though stepping down as Chairman, Baroness Prosser will continue to work with the Trust as its honorary Vice President.
On her time as Chairman, Baroness Prosser commented:
“It has been a pleasure to be so involved with the Industry and Parliament Trust in various forms over the last eight years. They are a fantastic organisation. Not only do they facilitate important learning opportunities, they manage them in a way that is engaging for all involved.
I would implore any MP or Peer wishing to increase their knowledge of the challenges facing different parts of the UK economy to consider working with the IPT.”
Taking over from Baroness Prosser as Chairman of the Trustee Board is John Howell OBE MP. John became an MP after successfully competing in the Henley by-election in 2008. The seat was vacated by Boris Johnson when he became Mayor of London. John has been Vice Chairman of the IPT Trustee Board since July 2017.
John has had a successful career so far as an MP. In addition to his involvement with the IPT, he has enjoyed time in various frontbench roles and as a member on the Justice Select Committee since 2014.
Before entering Parliament, John had a varied career. He worked for HMRC as a tax inspector, was a partner at accountancy firm Ernst & Young, presented a business programme for BBC World, and was an Oxfordshire county councillor.
To support his role on the Justice Select Committee, and to learn how law firms support businesses, John completed an IPT Fellowship through a combination of the Courts and Tribunal Scheme and visits to Magic Circle law firms.
Replacing him as Vice Chairman will be Liberal Democrat Peer Baroness Scott of Needham Market, who has been an IPT trustee since 2014.
On becoming Chairman of the IPT’s Trustee Board, John said:
“It has been a real privilege to work closely with the IPT over the past few years and I am looking forward to building on that as its Chairman.
I cannot speak more highly of the regular exchanges of views that takes place between peers, MPs and business people. With so many coming into Westminster without a business background it provides a valuable and much needed resource.
I will continue to support the IPT's excellent and important work in facilitating a clear, non-partisan dialogue between Parliament and UK industry.”