A senior civil servant has been tapped to lead the government’s efforts to deliver more infrastructure projects.
Phil Graham, a longtime civil servant in the department for transport, will be chief executive of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), a new independent body chancellor George Osborne first announced at this year’s Conservative Party Conference.
At the time, Osborne said the body would be tasked with working out “calmly and dispassionately what the country needs to build for its future and hold any government’s feet to the fire if it fails to deliver”. Lord Andrew Adonis, a former minister under Prime Minister Tony Blair, resigned the Labour whip in order to chair the commission.
Osborne said today that he was “delighted” to appoint Graham as chief executive: “The NIC will provide expert, independent advice to the government on the most pressing infrastructure challenges facing the country. Phil's role as chief executive will be vital in overseeing this work.”
Adonis also welcomed the appointment, saying Graham was “supremely qualified”, adding he has done “brilliant work on a wide range of nationally significant projects from high speed rail to the London Olympics and most recently as secretary of the Airports Commission”
At the transport department, Graham led the development of the government's high speed rail strategy. Prior to becoming a civil servant in 2000, he worked in the arts, founding the Brute Farce Theatre Company in 1996.