Andrew Tyrie, the former chairman of the influential Treasury Select Committee, has been appointed the boss of Britain’s competition watchdog.
The Government has announced that the much-respected interrogator and ex-Conservative MP for Chichester will become chairman of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
Mr Tyrie, who gained notoriety for his select committee grillings of prime ministers, Bank of England officials and industry bosses, will take over from current CMA chairman David Currie.
His appointment comes at a crucial moment for the body, as officials scrutinise a string of high-profile deals and prepare for Britain’s divorce from the European Union.
Among the tie-ups being probed are 21st Century Fox’s bid for broadcaster Sky, Trinity Mirror’s takeover of the Daily Express and other Northern & Shell brands, and the Co-operative Group’s swoop for convenience store chain Nisa.
Mr Tyrie said: “Subject to Parliamentary support, I’m delighted to accept this post and look forward to working with the CMA’s high-quality board and staff.
“Making markets work for the benefit of millions of people is what the CMA is all about.
“In the years ahead, competition can and should be put even closer to the centre of British economic life, reaching to every sector, rooting out monopoly and unfair trading practices, and enhancing Britain’s global competitiveness into the bargain.”
Mr Tyrie served under Michael Howard as a shadow Treasury spokesman in opposition from 2003-05, but was not appointed to the front bench by David Cameron.
For the bulk of his Commons career, he was a prominent member of the backbench select committees which scrutinise Government activities.
He sat as chairman of both the Parliamentary Commission on banking standards and the Liaison Committee. He was the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee from 2010 to 2017.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “Andrew Tyrie is a proven consumer champion and competition advocate, with a strong record of independence as select committee chair, ideally suited to leading the CMA at this critical time.
“I have no doubt he will make good use of his extensive policy, economic and financial experience to entrench the CMA post-Brexit as one of the world’s leading regulatory and enforcement bodies.”
Ahead of his appointment, Mr Tyrie will have to face a pre-appointment hearing with the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee (BEIS).
CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: “I look forward to welcoming and working with Andrew Tyrie as the CMA prepares for its increased role after the UK exits the EU.
“His distinguished career will bring valuable experience to our work.”