The government has today announced that Professor Syed Kamall, Academic & Research Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, is to become a member of the House of Lords, where he will take the Conservative whip. As the Institute of Economic Affairs is a strictly non-partisan think tank, he will therefore step down from his current role at the IEA in due course. The Institute will begin the process of recruiting a successor in the New Year, beginning with a consultation of its staff.
Reacting to the news, Syed Kamall said:
“I have enjoyed working for the Institute of Economic Affairs and promoting the classical liberal agenda of freer markets and a free society. As a PhD student who attended IEA events in the early 1990s, it was a huge honour to be appointed as the Academic & Research Director last year. However, having been nominated to the House of Lords as a Conservative peer, I understand that taking the whip of any political party raises potential or perceived conflicts of interests with the IEA’s stated independence ‘of any political party or group.’
“Therefore, I have given notice to resign from my position as Academic & Research Director as soon as a successor can be found. I am also currently in discussions to explore whether we can find a role which is compatible with both my membership of the House of Lords and the IEA’s much-valued independence.”
Neil Record, the IEA’s Chairman, said:
“I am delighted that the government has announced that it is appointing our Academic & Research Director, Syed Kamall, to the House of Lords. In his time at the IEA, Syed has brought energy, organisation and persuasive charm to this role, providing the IEA with a solid platform of high-quality publications delivered, in production and in prospect.
“However, Syed’s elevation to the Conservative benches of the Lords is tinged with sadness for the IEA. Given our political independence as a charitable think tank, such an appointment is incompatible with a full-time role heading up our Academic & Research team. Accordingly, I have to report that Syed has indicated that he will resign his post here.
“I wish Syed great success in the Lords, where I am confident he will bring ability, energy and a free market perspective to the House.”
Mark Littlewood, the IEA’s Director General, said:
“I’m thrilled for Syed and congratulate him on his elevation to the House of Lords. He has done sterling work managing the IEA’s research pipeline as well as being an erudite and highly engaging public face of the Institute. I look forward to continuing to work with him to promote free market solutions to social and economic problems. I will also be discussing with him how we can find a different role for him at the IEA which is compatible with him taking a party whip in Parliament.”
Notes to Editors
Contact: Annabel Denham, Director of Communications, 07540770774
The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.