Natural England halts search for new chief executive

Natural England has halted the recruitment process for a permanent chief executive, with Marian Spain, the regulator’s interim chief executive, agreeing to remain in post until June 2020.

In a letter to staff, the regulator’s new chair, Tony Juniper, said that during his initial period in office, one of his priorities had been to recruit a new chief executive. The search for a new chief executive - to replace James Cross, who stepped down in November 2018 - had started before Juniper took up his position on 23 April.

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But Juniper said that, given how the scale of changes both within Natural England and externally, he now felt it better to retain “continuity of leadership”.

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