News item

New chairman of the National Trading Standards Board

Picture of Toby Harris NTSB ChairmanLord Toby Harris has been selected as the new chairman of the National Trading Standards Board.

David Collinson, who was the NTSB's chairman in its formative year, said: "I’m pleased to announce Lord Toby Harris as the new NTSB chairman, who I know will provide us with the dedicated leadership that will continue to take the NTSB from strength to strength. 
“Leading the NTSB in its first year was a great privilege.  As I pass the chairman's baton on I want to personally thank the board, the programme office team and our partners for their passion and commitment to the work of the NTSB and trading standards."

Lord Toby Harris said: “I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to take the helm of the National Trading Standards Board as it takes off from the starting blocks of its first, formative year.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues in trading standards to take forward and implement our strategic evaluation of key issues affecting the profession, helping officers across the country in their vital efforts to protect and support consumers, honest business and our communities.”

Lord Toby Harris (Lord Harris of Haringey) - Biography

Lord Toby Harris was appointed as Chair of the National Trading Standards Board in May 2013.  Since 2009, he has been the Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody that reports to the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the Department of Health.

He was made a Life Peer in June 1998 and is Chair of the Labour Peers. He is a member of the Joint Committee on National Security and was also a member of the House of Lords Select Committee that reported on Personal Internet Security in 2007.  He is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Policing and Treasurer of the Parliamentary Internet and Communications Technology Forum (PICTFOR). 

He was born in 1953 and graduated from Cambridge University in 1975, having studied Natural Sciences and Economics and where he was President of the Cambridge Union.  His professional career began with four years in the Economics Division of the Bank of England.  He then spent seven years at the Electricity Consumers’ Council, becoming Deputy Director in 1983.  In 1987, he became Director of the Association of Community Health Councils for England and Wales (the national statutory body representing patients’ interests).  He remained there until October 1998, when he established his own public affairs consultancy, Toby Harris Associates, which advises a number of major public and private sector bodies.

He was a member of the London Assembly from May 2000 to June 2004, on which he led the Labour Group and he was the first Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA).  He continued to sit on the MPA from 2004 until 2012, as the representative of the Home Secretary with a remit to oversee the national and international functions of the Metropolitan Police - primarily its role in counter-terrorism and security. He also oversaw their risk management and audit, and was the interim chair of the Audit Panel for the Metropolitan Police Service and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

He was a member of Haringey Council from 1978 to 2002 and was its Leader from 1987 to 1999, having previously spent five years as Chair of Social Services.  He was Chair of the Association of London Government, representing the 33 local authorities in London, from its formation in 1995 until 2000, having previously chaired the Association of London Authorities. 

From 1986 to 1993, he was Chair of the Association of Metropolitan Authorities’ Social Services Committee and led for local government in negotiations about the introduction of Community Care and the Children Act.  He is Vice-President of and was formerly a member of the Executive of the Local Government Association. He was also a member of the Executive of the Association of Police Authorities from 2000 to 2006 and was a Vice President from 2006 until 2012.

He was the first Chair of the Institute of Commissioning Professionals, has been a non-executive director of the London Ambulance Service, a Senior Associate of the Kings Fund, and a member of the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants.  He is a former member of the Committee of the Regions of the European Union.

DATE: 30 April 2013