Wednesday 16 September 2020 1:38 pm

London First taps former Today programme editor to join board

London First today said it has tapped former Today programme editor Sarah Sands to join its board as an adviser.

The business campaign group said Sands will take up her role with immediate effect and will help guide the organisation through a challenging period for the capital in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Read more: New BBC boss promises ‘urgent reform’ amid pressure over funding

In January Sands announced her resignation from the Today programme after three years in the role — a day after the BBC announced a major wave of job cuts affecting some of its biggest shows.

Prior to this she was editor of the Evening Standard and was the first female editor of the Sunday Telegraph.

The veteran journalist was also recently appointed chair of Conservative think tank Bright Blue.

In a tweet this afternoon Sands wrote: “Looking forward to first board meeting of London First tomorrow as Evening Standard reports threat of new curfew. Imperative to keep economy open.”

Sands is the latest in a string of high-profile additions to the board of London First, which played a key role in creating the role of Mayor of London and establishing educational charity Teach First.

Former Lloyd’s chief executive Dame Inga Beale and Bupa Group boss Evelyn Bourke are among other big names to join the campaign group.

Paul Drechsler, Chair of London First, said he was “thrilled” with the appointment.

Read more: London First: Give more powers to City Hall to fund TfL

“Sarah really understands and is passionate about London, hugely respected in the creative industries and a powerful advocate for arts and culture — a vital ingredient in the capital’s diversity, global reputation and success,” he said.

“She will be a fantastic source of energy and enthusiasm to the London First board and team at this critical time.”