United Kingdom Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues and Chair, ACOBA

The Rt Hon Lord Pickles

Biography

Lord Pickles was appointed as the next Conservative Party nominee to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments in July 2019 and was subsequently appointed as Chair following an open competition, in line with the Cabinet Office Governance Code, taking up the role in April 2020. His appointment was approved following pre-appointment scrutiny by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee.

Lord Pickles was appointed Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust issues in September 2015, replacing Sir Andrew Burns. Lord Pickles works closely with the wide range of Holocaust academics, survivors and educational and social organisations in the UK.

Along with the former Labour Cabinet Minister, Ed Balls, he CoChairs the United Kingdom’s Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

He was made a Life Peer in 2018.

First elected to Parliament in 1992 he retired as MP for Brentwood and Ongar at the 2017 general election. He was previously Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Education

Lord Pickles was educated at Greenhead Grammar School and Leeds Polytechnic.

Political career

Lord Pickles was the Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion from 2015 to Spring 2017, and was Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from 2010 to 2015. He was Leader of Bradford City Council from 1988 to 1990. He held a number of positions while in opposition, including Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from 2007 to 2009 and Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2009 to 2010.

Career outside politics

He worked as a consultant in employment practice and as Local Government Editor for Conservative Newsline before becoming an MP in 1992. He is a trustee of 2 local charities – Brentwood Foyer and Brentwood Theatre.

Personal life

Lord Pickles lives with his wife Irene in Brentwood, Essex.

United Kingdom Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues

Special representatives use their expertise to develop a greater coherent effort in making sure that the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office can work closely and effectively with foreign powers.

The Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues’ key objective is to ensure that the UK continues to play a prominent role in international discussions on all Holocaust-related matters, especially those relating to education and the opening of archives and that we continue to respond to the concerns of Holocaust victims and their families.

The role also:

  • works closely with the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation to help it develop international partnerships that can support the new world-class Learning Centre to be established in London and advance Holocaust education around the world
  • includes a focus on the restitution of art and immovable property and promoting the implementation of the 2009 Terezin Declaration on Holocaust Era Assets

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street, and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Chair, ACOBA

The role of the Committee is to:

  • provide independent advice to the Government on the application of the government’s Business Appointment Rules to the most senior members of the Civil Service, armed forces, diplomatic service, and intelligence agencies who wish to take up appointments within 2 years of leaving Crown service
  • provide independent advice directly to former ministers on appointments they wish to take up within 2 years of leaving government

See the Register of Lords’ interests

Advisory Committee on Business Appointments

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