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Top civil servant joins HS2 board

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Sir Jonathan Thompson has been appointed as a non-executive director to the High Speed 2 (HS2) Limited board to represent the  government’s interests, a move that was recommended by the independent Oakervee Review of HS2.

Currently chief executive of the Financial Reporting Council, and previously the Permanent Secretary at both the Ministry of Defence and HM Revenue and Customs, Sir Jon brings strong financial management and experience in leading major projects.

Andrew Stephenson MP.

This appointment follows that of three other non-executive directors to the board last year – Ian King, Elaine Holt and Tom Harris – who were appointed to strengthen oversight and scrutiny of the UK’s largest infrastructure project.

Announcing the appointment, HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson said: “Sir Jon will be an invaluable asset to the board of HS2 Ltd and will strengthen oversight and accountability as this vital project is delivered.

“He joins HS2’s board at an exciting time as construction of Phase One ramps up and Phase 2a has been given the green light to begin – creating thousands of jobs, driving our economic recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19), and delivering on our promise to level up towns and cities across the country.”

Allan Cook, HS2.

HS2 chairman Allan Cook CBE added: “I am delighted to announce that Sir Jon will join the HS2 Ltd board in the very near future. His experience at the top of the civil service will be a great addition to our team as the project moves forward.

“HS2’s first tunnelling machine is scheduled to start digging under the Chilterns in May, and with Parliament recently giving approval to the next phase extending the line from the West Midlands to Crewe, Jon will join us at a very exciting time for the programme.

The process to appoint a new chairman of HS2 Ltd is now underway after Allan Cook confirmed his intention to leave the company this summer.

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