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Editor's blog Friday 18 February 2011: Meet the new chair of Monitor - it's the interim chief executive

This 'heir to Blair' stuff by the Tories is getting out of hand: SOS Lansley has appointed former Tony Blair adviser Dr David Bennett, Monitor's acting chief executive as the successor chair to ex-Audit Commission maestro Steve Bundred.

Perhaps the Conservatives should re-brand themselves as 'Continuity New Labour'?

Bennett is ex-McKinseys, and ex-chair of now-in-abeyance The 10 Partnership, who did oodles of consultancy for the last Government. During that period, Bennett advised the Monitor board on strategy.

The press release also states that Bennett "was the non-political Chief Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair and Head of the Policy Directorate and the Strategy Unit in 10 Downing Street".

The concept of a non-political policy advisor to the Prime Minister is an intriguing one.

The press release quotes Steve Bundred as saying, "I have greatly enjoyed working with David over recent months and I am pleased that Monitor will have the benefit of his expertise and understanding of the health sector as it prepares for and carries out its proposed new role as economic regulator for health and adult social care. David and I are now working out the details of how best to manage the transition to the new leadership, including the appointment of a permanent Chief Executive”.

It reports Dr Bennett to have said in response, “After nearly 12 months as Interim Chief Executive at Monitor I am delighted that the Secretary of State has asked me to take on the role of Chair. The successful implementation of this next phase of reform for health and adult social care, if agreed by Parliament, will be critical to ensuring that the sector can continue to provide affordable, high quality care, and Monitor will play a central role in making sure this is so.  

“I have been greatly impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the many colleagues I have worked with over this last year, both inside Monitor and beyond, and I look forward to continuing our partnership as we embark on this exciting and undoubtedly challenging next phase”.

The odds on Bill Moyes as Monitor's next chief executive must have shortened to the vanishing point.