Theodore Thomas More Agnew, Baron Agnew of Oulton, Conservative life peer and former Minister of State at the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury. He also founded the Inspiration Trust, and is the Trust's former chairman.(born 17 January 1961) is a British businessman,
The Lord Agnew of Oulton
|Minister of State for Efficiency and Transformation|
14 February 2020 – 24 January 2022
|Prime Minister||Boris Johnson|
|Preceded by||Phil Woolas[a]|
|Succeeded by||Jacob Rees-Mogg[b]|
|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for School System|
28 September 2017 – 14 February 2020
|Prime Minister||Theresa May|
|Preceded by||The Lord Nash|
|Succeeded by||The Baroness Berridge|
|Member of the House of Lords|
|Assumed office |
23 October 2017
|Born||17 January 1961|
|Education||Beeston Hall School|
Early life edit
He was born in Norfolk, brought up in Oulton near Aylsham and educated at Beeston Hall School and Rugby School. After school, he worked in Canada and Australia, initially in farming but later buying and selling a variety of businesses.
After working in Australia, he returned to the UK, founded Town & Country Assistance in 1989, and grew the business to annual gross revenues of £40 million. Selling it to Warburg Pincus in 2002, he became co-founder of WNS Global Services. He resigned as a non-executive director of Jubilee Managing Agency Ltd in 2011, a Lloyd's insurance business managing £130 million of premiums.
In 2006, he founded the Public Interest Foundation, a grant giving charity primarily focused on education and communities.
Agnew is the founder and chairman of the Inspiration Trust, a multi-academy trust that runs seventeen schools in East Anglia. The Trust was founded as the East Norfolk Academy Trust on 14 August 2012, changing its name to the Inspiration Trust on 27 January 2013. Nine of these were taken over as failing schools and are all now rated Good by Ofsted.
Agnew was a non-executive board member of the Department for Education and chairman of its Academies Board from 2013 to 2015. He was appointed lead non-executive board member of the Ministry of Justice in July 2015.
He was appointed a director of National Institute of Teaching in 2022. The aim of NIOT is to boost the quality of teaching and school leadership by carrying out research applying these insights to its professional development programmes, and sharing findings with the sector.
1997 General Election edit
Education minister edit
Agnew was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the School System, in the Department for Education, on 28 September 2017. He had an interest in improving the cost base of schools. He was created Baron Agnew of Oulton, of Oulton in the county of Norfolk, on 19 October 2017, sitting with the Conservative Party group in the House of Lords.
In this role, Agnew had an interest in improving the cost base of schools and was responsible for the academies and free schools programmes.
Treasury/Cabinet Office Minister edit
Agnew became Minister of State for Efficiency and Transformation jointly at the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury on 14 February 2020.
Agnew had a senior role in the UK's vaccination effort during the COVID-19 pandemic. He referred two companies to the PPE fast or VIP lane: Worldlink Resources, advised by former MP Brooks Newmark, which gained contracts for £258 million, and Uniserve, which gained an additional contract for £304 million. In April 2021 he was accused of a conflict of interest over his shares in Public Group, a firm helping companies bid for government contracts.
On 24 January 2022, Agnew resigned as Minister of State for Efficiency and Transformation after strongly criticising the government's failure to tackle billions of pounds worth of fraud in the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan Scheme. Agnew said "a combination of arrogance, indolence and ignorance" was "freezing the government machine". Agnew accused the government of making "schoolboy errors" through giving loans to more than 1,000 companies which were not trading when the pandemic happened.
Post ministerial career edit
Personal life edit
- As Minister of State for the Treasury, 2010.
- As Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency.
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- "LEAKED: The Conservative politicians who referred companies to the PPE 'VIP lane'". Good Law Project. 16 November 2021.
- O'Neill, Sean; Waterfield, Bruno (29 January 2021). "Coronavirus: UK's nimble vaccine task force has left rivals trailing in its wake". The Times.
- Hurley, James; Wright, Oliver (2 April 2021). "Minister Lord Agnew accused in conflict of interest row". The Times. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
- Payne, Sebastian; Thomas, Daniel (24 January 2022). "UK anti-fraud minister suits over 'lamentable' covid loan oversight". Financial Times. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
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