The Business On... Geoffrey Spence, Interim chief executive of Infrastructure UK
Infrastructure UK, what's that?
Only the Treasury body responsible for implementing the National Infrastructure Plan. OK, OK, you've not heard of that either. Around £200bn will be spent on infrastructure in sectors such as energy, transport and waste. The Government needs to prioritise this and find ways of attracting private-sector money to fund the programme.
So this bloke must be well connected?
Too right – check out Mr Spence's LinkedIn profile page, which shows a CV of senior roles at the Treasury, Deutsche Bank and HSBC. He's best known as a personal economic adviser to then-chancellor Alistair Darling during the banking crisis.Mr Spence focused on financial stability and helping businesses through the recession.
Not a fan of the banks, then?
Apparently not. A Whitehall source suggests that he was "unnecessarily thuggish" with the banks and as a result is not well liked in the City. The Square Mile would, though, do well to remember that Mr Spence oversaw a programme that made some very big firms a whole lot of money: he was the government's head of private finance initiative (PFI) policy from 2001-04.
So PFI's back, then?
Big time. Last week, Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, announced £2bn of schools will be built under the PFI, which sees private companies finance the construction, maintenance and running of public infrastructure and paid back at a profit over along-term contract. The Government had to resurrect PFI to afford its infrastructure programme.
'Interim'? Why so?
The six-month search for a successor to James Stewart, who left IUK last year, was botched and abandoned in June. Worse still, the acting chief executive Andy Rose quit last week after just seven months in the role. A formal appointment process hasto take place, so Mr Spence gets only an "interim" title.
Surely the job's his?
That's what many people assumed when word first leaked of Mr Spence's appointment, before staff were even told of it yesterday afternoon. But the Treasury cannot just make a permanent appointment and the last selection process was formally shelved. Mr Spence is the overwhelming favourite, so credible candidates surely won't apply.
From the blogs
Justice, the bedrock of our society is for sale under the Government’s latest plan to sell legal aid...
Take inspiration from the green-fingered brigade who have been showing off their creativity at the R...
There are more empty shops on our high streets than ever before, says another report into the state ...
The guard has changed at Old Trafford for the first time in 26 years. Meanwhile, down the road, the ...
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
Video: Woolwich attack - man with bloodied hands and knife addresses camera
Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the mother-of-two hailed as a hero for confronting Woolwich attackers, thought: 'better me than a child'
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.