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August 7, 2020

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New HSE chair appointed

Sarah Newton has been appointed Chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) by The Department for Work and Pensions.

Sarah Newton HSE Chair headshotThe appointment commenced on 1 August 2020 and is a five-year posting. Sarah Newton replaces Martin Temple.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey said: “I’m pleased to welcome Sarah to this important role and look forward to working with her.

“Her insight and experience will be huge assets as we work to safely resume everyday life across the country, helping to build confidence within business and workers as we get Britain back into work.

“I would also like to thank Martin for his dedication throughout his service over the last five years.”

Comments on her appointment

Sarah Newton said: “As we move out of the nationwide lockdown and learn to live with COVID-19, the role of the HSE has never been more critical. I am looking forward to working with the HSE non executive and executive leadership team, tackling the challenges, building on the strengths of the organisation and working in partnership with employers, unions, trade associations, professional bodies, academics and others, enabling Great Britain to work safely and well.”

Sarah Newton before joining the HSE

Sarah has thirty years’ experience of strategic planning, leadership and change management, dealing with complex issues across the business, voluntary and governmental sectors. She has considerable experience of building partnerships between diverse people and organisations to deliver shared aims. She has served on a wide range of boards and is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust.

Between 2010 and 2019 she was an MP and served for three years as a Member of the Science and Technology Select Committee before becoming a Minister in the Home Office and latterly at the Department of Work and Pensions, where she worked with HSE, leading the Health and Work unit. Amongst other responsibilities while at the Home Office she led work on tackling modern slavery, human trafficking and human exploitation.

Before entering the House of Commons, she was Director of the International Longevity Centre – UK, Age Concern England and American Express Europe. She also served as a Councillor in the London Borough of Merton.

Sarah was educated at Falmouth Comprehensive School and Kings College London. Sarah won a Rotary International postgraduate scholarship in the USA.

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