Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and Health Service Commissioner for England (Appointment)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:27 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Kelvin Hopkins Kelvin Hopkins Labour, Luton North 6:27 pm, 24th January 2017

It is a pleasure for me to support everything that has been said so far about Dame Julie Mellor and Rob Behrens. It has been a great pleasure working with Julie Mellor over the years, during her term of office. She is indeed a charming and intelligent person. I think that she has had quite a hard time, because of the pressures of getting the work of the ombudsman right. That work will have to continue, obviously. I am looking forward to the reception for Dame Julie in your rooms shortly, Mr Speaker.

As for Rob Behrens, much has been said about his experience. He has a wealth of valuable and varied experience, and his role in South Africa was quite stunning. As a member of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, I took part in the confirmation hearing and I was immensely impressed with his performance. He is measured, highly intelligent, precise and thoughtful, and he answered every question in that manner. I think he will do an excellent job of carrying on the role of the ombudsman.

I wanted to speak because I thought it was important that we heard from an Opposition Back Bencher as well as the Front-Bench team and the Chair of our Select Committee, who spoke eloquently about what we have done and on behalf of the present and future ombudsmen. Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to speak. I endorse everything that has been said.