The Committees held a joint pre-appointment hearing on 26 February 2019 with Tony Juniper, the Government's preferred candidate to fill the post of Chair of Natural England.
Neil Parish, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, said:
“We felt that the candidate answered all questions put to him fully and shared as much information as he could. The Committee appreciated his honesty and willingness to be open about the process and what makes him suitable for such a position. The Chair of Natural England will play a pivotal role in the future of environmental policy and we watch with interest as to how the candidate will meet this challenge.”
Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said:
“I welcome the appointment of Tony Juniper as the new Chair of Natural England. Tony has been an enthusiastic champion of our natural environment and wildlife for many years.
“However, the EAC remains concerned that Natural England faces some fundamental challenges. The Government have cut Natural England’s budget by more than half over the past eight years, resulting in staff shortages, failure to meet waiting times, and low staff morale. We hope that under Tony’s leadership the organisation will be successful in the upcoming spending review, enabling it to fulfil its key functions to Government and protect our environment”