More evidence of apparent cronyism at the top of the Solicitors Regulation Authority has emerged.
Last week RollOnFriday revealed how three out of four of the SRA's senior management team were colleagues of the SRA's Chief Executive when he was the COO of the General Medical Council.
Even Paul Philip’s longtime PA at the GMC was found a plum position at the SRA, as the Director of Corporate Affairs.
Despite the statistically unlikely success rate of Philip's friends, a spokesman for the SRA insisted last week that "All executive roles are openly advertised and go through a competitive recruitment process".
He said that all the appointments were "made on merit by a panel chaired by the Chair of the SRA Board”.
But during the period in which all five of the GMC hires were made, a GMC board member also sat on the SRA board. Enid Rowlands was a board member of the SRA from 2013, and its Chair from January 2015 until January this year. From 2008 to the end of 2016 Rowlands also sat on the board of the GMC, working alongside Philip and his team while they moved over to their news jobs at the SRA.
It was all above board actually.
A spokesman for the SRA said, "Charles Plant was the Chair for the SMT [senior management team] appointments, not Enid", and "he has no connection with the GMC". Asked if Rowlands recused herself from board discussions about the hires, the spokesman said the appointments "wouldn't have been discussed at board meetings".