Lane-Fox takes new government digital advisory role

A group of private sector experts has been appointed to advise the Government Digital Service (GDS), with former digital tsar Martha Lane-Fox returning to advise government.

The new GDS advisory board will meet quarterly to support, advise and challenge the government with the aim of helping government transform digital services.

The group, many of whom have no public sector experience, will be guided by GDS executive director Stephen Foreshew-Cain, who will chair the group.

Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock said: “We are recasting the relationship between the citizen and the state – all with the goal of making people’s lives better.

“I’m thrilled to have these experts onboard and looking forward to working closely with them to discover and build the new digital infrastructure.”

The announcement was made at the government’s annual digital conference, Sprint, with  board member Saul Klein – CEO and Founder of LoveFilm – telling delegates about how the UK’s digital economy is contributing to growth and transforming industry.

The move also sees the return of Baroness Lane-Fox, co-founder of, to an advisor to government.

In a previous stint as the government’s digital tsar, her recommendations led to the original creation of the GDS.

In November’s Spending Review, chancellor George Osborne said that the GDS would receive £450m over the period of the review, equating to an average of £125m a year – well up from this year’s budget of £58m.

In the 2015 budget, Osborne promised that the remit of the GDS would extend to local government, but progress in this area remains slow.

The full list of board members:

  • Richard Allan – director of policy, Europe at Facebook
  • Dr Sue Black OBE – senior research associate at UCL and Founder and CEO at Savvify
  • Joanne Hannaford – global co-head of Enterprise Platforms, Goldman Sachs
  • Hermann Hauser KBE – co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners
  • Brent Hoberman – co-rounder and Executive Chairman at Founders Factory Ltd​
  • Saul Klein – CEO and founder of LoveFilm
  • Baroness Lane-Fox – co-founder of
  • Brian McBride – chairman of ASOS and former UK managing director of
  • Herman Narula – CEO and co-founder at Improbable
  • Sir Nigel Shadbolt – chairman and founder of The Open Data Institute (ODI)​
  • Monique Shivanandan – group CIO at Aviva
  • Wendy Tan White – general partner at entrepreneur first
  • Vanessa Vallely – managing director and founder at

Colin Marrs

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