Labour peer announced to head UK infrastructure body
Britain’s Conservative Party was to announce Monday that Andrew Adonis, a Labour peer and close ally of former prime minister Tony Blair, will chair a new infrastructure planning body.
Adonis, who was policy chief in Blair’s government and transport secretary under Gordon Brown, will no longer sit with Labour in the House of Lords, although he retains his membership of the party.
Osborne was to tell the annual conference of the ruling Tories that Adonis will be working in the “national interest” by chairing the National Infrastructure Commission, according to released remarks.
The body will plan projects such as rail links and power stations.
“We have to shake Britain out of its inertia on the projects that matter most,” Osborne was to tell the conference.
Adonis was to add: “I am pleased to accept the chancellor’s invitation to establish the National Infrastructure Commission as an independent body able to advise government and parliament on priorities.
“Without big improvements to its transport and energy systems, Britain will grind to a halt.”
The idea of an infrastructure commission with cross-party support was proposed by the Labour party earlier this year in its campaign for the May general election, at which it suffered a bruising defeat to the Conservatives.
The commission will be independent from government, and advise on what infrastructure should be developed during each government’s five-year term, a statement from the Conservative party said.