Angela Knight, a former Tory MP, was appointed chair of the new Office of Tax Simplification by the chancellor last month [Image: Micha Theiner/City AM/REX].

George Osborne’s decision to appoint a former bankers’ lobbyist as an independent tax adviser has been questioned by an influential parliamentary committee.

The Treasury select committee expressed concerns on Tuesday over Angela Knight’s previous role as chair of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) during the Libor scandal, her lack of tax knowledge and potential conflicts of interest with current directorships.

Knight, a former Tory MP, was appointed chair of the new Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) by the chancellor in December. The office’s remit is to reduce complexities in the tax system, which have been blamed for allowing corporate tax avoidance.

Knight is also an independent director at the City firm Tullett Prebon, holds the same position at the financial management firm Brewin Dolphin, is a board member at Transport for London and is a member of the advisory board of the economic consultancy Oxera.

One member of the committee said that her appointment, which has been approved but with qualifications, looks suspiciously like another job for “the Tories’ friends”.

Labour MP Wes Streeting said: “The qualified endorsement of her appointment does raise questions about the judgment of the chancellor and the seriousness with which he views his responsibilities to make appropriate appointments to important roles.”

Source: MPs question appointment of former bankers’ lobbyist in senior tax role | Business | The Guardian

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