Peter Riddell has been Commissioner for Public Appointments since April 2016, responsible for ensuring that appointments to boards of public bodies are made on merit after fair and open competition.
He was formerly Director of the Institute for Government from January 2012 until August 2016, where he had previously been a part-time Senior Fellow, at the same time as working for the Detainee Inquiry, a Privy Counsellor panel looking at whether the British Government was implicated in the improper treatment of detainees held by other countries. At the Institute, he was closely involved in its work on political and constitutional reform.
Until mid-2010, Peter was a journalist for nearly 40 years, split between the Financial Times and The Times, where he had been their domestic political analyst and commentator. He has been a regular broadcaster, has written seven books and delivered frequent lectures. Peter chaired the Hansard Society, a non-partisan charity which promotes understanding of Parliament and representative democracy, for five years until mid-2012. He carried out the triennial review of the Committee on Standards in Public Life for the Cabinet Office in late 2012. Peter has received two honorary doctorates, is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an Honorary Fellow of the Political Studies Association and was one of the first recipients of the President’s medal of the British Academy. He was appointed to the Privy Council in July 2010 in order to serve on the Detainee Inquiry and was made a CBE in the 2012 Birthday Honours List.
On 19 April 2021, the Prime Minister extended the term of the Rt Hon Peter Riddell CBE as Commissioner for Public Appointments, until 30 September 2021.