Diamond retained for second term as UK’s national statistician

Incumbent chief was reappointed following an open competition

The government has reappointed Sir Ian Diamond for a second term as national statistician.

Diamond was officially appointed by King Charles, on the advice of prime minister Rishi Sunak, following an open competition. The national statistician is the chief executive of the UK Statistics Authority, permanent secretary at the Office for National Statistics and head of the Government Statistical Service.

Diamond, who first became national statistician in 2019, will continue in the role for five more years, beginning on 1 April.

During his time in the role so far, Diamond has led the UK’s official statistical system and the Government Analysis Function through the Covid-19 pandemic, including establishing the Covid-19 Infection Survey. He also led the delivery of the 2021 Census in England and Wales, and a new five-year strategy.

Sir Robert Chote, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, said Diamond (pictured) has “provided fantastic leadership” for the UK statistical system, delivering a successful census, addressing the demands of the covid pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, and driving ongoing digital transformation.

“The authority board is delighted that Ian has been reappointed and we look forward to continuing to work together to deliver statistics that serve the public good,” he added.

Alex Chisholm, chief operating officer for the civil service and Cabinet Office permanent secretary, also praised Diamond, saying he has “no doubt he will continue to provide strong direction for the UK Statistics Authority and ONS and continue to drive innovation and value across the statistical system”.

Diamond picked out the UK Statistics Authority’s five-year strategy, Statistics for the Public Good, which was published in July 2020, as his highlight so far.

“It has been an enormous privilege to be national statistician for the past three years, working with a truly wonderful group of colleagues and an excellent board, to drive through so successfully our ambitious plan: Statistics for the Public Good,” he said. “I am extremely excited by the opportunity to continue this work and take UK official statistics to a new level.”

Royal Statistical Society president Andrew Garrett said Diamond has “done an excellent job of leading the UK’s statistical system over the last few years” and “shown he has the experience required to deliver data that meet the evolving needs of the public”.

Before becoming national statistician, Diamond held roles including chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee, chief executive of the Economic and Social Research Council, and principal and vice chancellor at the University of Aberdeen.

Tevye Markson

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