Geoffrey Spence, a personal economic adviser to then chancellor Alistair Darling during the banking crisis, has been appointed to head up the Treasury body that oversees the UK’s infrastructure plan.
Independent.co.uk can reveal that Infrastructure UK staff will be told that Geoffrey Spence is their new boss at 2.45pm and a press release is expected to confirm the appointment shortly afterwards.
The move is significant as Spence was once in charge of the Labour government’s Private Finance Initiative policy. This would suggest that the Coalition will aggressively pursue plans to resurrect the oft-criticised PFI, which sees the private sector fund the build, maintenance and running of public sector infrastructure and then repaid under a long-term contract.
Spence has the position on an interim basis, after acting chief executive Andy Rose quit last week. That was seen as a blow to Infrastructure UK, which had already failed to land itself a permanent successor to former boss James Stewart during a six-month recruitment process that was abandoned in June.
The body oversees the implementation of the National Infrastructure Plan. About £200bn of mainly private sector money is expected to be spent on infrastructure, in sectors like waste, energy and transport, over the next five years.