Press release

First Parliamentary Counsel appointed: Elizabeth Gardiner

Elizabeth Gardiner has been appointed as the First Parliamentary Counsel and new Permanent Secretary for the Government in Parliament Group.

Elizabeth Gardiner CB has been appointed as the First Parliamentary Counsel and new Permanent Secretary for the Government in Parliament Group, following Richard Heaton’s move to the Ministry of Justice. Elizabeth, who is currently a Director General in the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, was chosen following a civil service-wide competition. The appointment has been made by the Prime Minister.

Elizabeth will take up her post on 24 November 2015.

The Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, said:

I would like to congratulate Elizabeth on her appointment to the position of First Parliamentary Counsel, the first ever woman to hold this post. Her deep experience as a parliamentary drafter as well as her sound judgment and leadership skills will make her an excellent First Parliamentary Counsel and I look forward to working with her.

Commenting on her new role, Elizabeth said:

After over 20 years as a parliamentary drafter in the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed as the First Parliamentary Counsel and Permanent Secretary of the Government in Parliament Group.

The Group does vital work in connection with the delivery of the government’s programme, and I am very much looking forward to working with colleagues across the group, the rest of the Cabinet Office and the wider civil service in my new role.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, said:

I am delighted Elizabeth Gardiner is taking on this role. Having served for more than a decade as a Parliamentary Counsel she is hugely experienced. This is a job at the very heart of government overseeing input throughout the entire Parliamentary process. Elizabeth worked her way from assistant to team leader, this experience has given her a detailed understanding of the area at all levels and she will provide invaluable leadership in her new role.