Man who has pride in being boring

Chris Blackhurst reports on Peter Davis, a 'safe pair of hands' at Oflot
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The Independent Online
Peter Davis who, in his own words, prides himself on being "a middle-aged accountant, ultimately very boring and respectable", must count the current furore his worst nightmare.

Aged 54, this quiet figure is the epitome of respectability and safety. A partnership at Price Waterhouse by the age of 32 was followed by a spell with the Harris Queensway carpet group, a management post with Sturge, the insurance company, and the post of deputy chairman at Abbey National.

By the time headhunters searching for a safe pair of hands to oversee the running of the lottery came calling, he was, unusually, out of work.

Director general of Oflot was a job he wanted. He has offered this description of why he was picked: "If you look at Peter Davis, you could say he has skills in banking, retailing and finance. I think I am a careful, cautious chap who has an understanding of the commercial side of life."

It must have been numbing, then, to be told by an MP on the Public Accounts Committee that he was ill-advised to have taken the flights. Mr Davis said he had taken advice and, without the GTECH jet, the trip, to visit lotteries in the US, "would have taken a great deal longer and would have cost the taxpayer a great deal more".

But this, from Alan Williams MP, must have stung: "The impression is that you are an innocent abroad ... You are left floundering and out of your depth." The PAC report may end a very British career.