Treasury appoints Sam Beckett as chief economic adviser

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The Treasury has hired long-standing civil servant Sam Beckett as its new chief economist.

Ms Beckett takes on the role of chief economic adviser to the Treasury, replacing Clare Lombardelli, who was recently appointed as the chief economist at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Ms Beckett will also become the sole head of the Government Economic Service, having previously jointly headed it up with Ms Lombardelli, while she will also become second permanent secretary to the Treasury.

Sam Beckett will replace Clare Lombardelli in the Treasury role (Treasury/PA)

Ms Beckett joins the Treasury from her current role as second permanent secretary at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the deputy chief executive at the UK Statistics Authority, which she took on in September 2020.

Among her previous roles, Ms Beckett worked at the Treasury as director of fiscal group, where she led the fiscal policy response to the financial crisis.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “I am thrilled to congratulate Sam on her well-deserved appointment and welcome her back to the Treasury.

“Her economic expertise and leadership in a range of government departments will be indispensable as we focus on our priorities of growing the economy, reducing debt and halving inflation.”

It marks the latest senior hire amid a reshuffle at the Treasury after James Bowler was hired as permanent secretary to replace Sir Tom Scholar, who was ousted by former prime minister Liz Truss and ex-chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng last September.

Former second permanent secretary Sir Charles Roxburgh also stepped down last year.

Ms Beckett said: “I am incredibly honoured to be chosen for a role at the heart of the UK economy. I look forward to joining a strong team of officials as we further bolster economic prosperity for the whole of the UK.”

She has more than 25 years’ experience at the Treasury, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Cabinet Office.

At BEIS, she oversaw the Covid response and before that she was director general responsible for the department’s Brexit preparations.

Mr Bowler praised her “extensive macro and microeconomic experience” and said she was an “expert policy maker”.

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