Candidates line up for lottery funding post Labour calls for more open lottery funding stsem

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The Labour Party yesterday called for the public to be given more information on how lottery money is distributed, following the departure of Georgina Nayler as head of the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

The fund gives lottery money to good causes in the heritage world, and recently caused controversy by spending pounds 12.5m of lottery money on keeping the Churchill papers in Britain.

Ms Nayler, 36, was effectively dismissed from her post by Hayden Phillips, Permanent Secretary at the Department of National Heritage, after an inquiry into the award of contracts to a software company owned and operated by her partner.

The inquiry found there was no suggestion that she had acted illegally or dishonestly, but that she had "laid herself open to criticism". Labour's heritage spokesman, Chris Smith, said Ms Nayler's case "highlights the need for proper accountability, to Parliament and the general public, of the lottery-distributing process ... Open and strict procedures must not only be in place but seen to be in place."

Candidates for the post could include Peter Longman, director of the Museums and Galleries Commission, Luke Rittner, head of public affairs at Sotheby's and former secretary general of the Arts Council, Francis Carnwath, former deputy director of the Tate Gallery, and the deputy directors of the fund, Robert Dufton and Rosemary Ewles. The head of public affairs, Perdita Hunt, may also be a candidate.

The present salary for the position is pounds 47,000 but is in the process of being upgraded.