This site is intended for health professionals only

MPs express concerns over suitability of health research chief

2 August 2007

Share this article

The appointment of Sir John Chisolm as chairman of the Medical Research Council (MRC) has been criticised by an all-party committee of MPs.

The members of the Commons Science and Technology Committee launched a stinging attack on Sir John, saying they are not convinced he is “the right man for the job”.

Sir John, who was appointed in October last year, will oversee the restructuring of the MRC, which uses money paid in taxes to fund health research.

Liberal Democrat chairman of the committee Phil Willis said: “The MRC is entering an exciting period of change and requires exemplary leadership.

“Based on our inquiry, we are not convinced that Sir John Chisholm is the right man for the job.”

Sir John gave evidence to the committee last month, but was criticised for being vague and evasive in relation to his own appointment and the decision to hire Ernst & Young to carry out a joint review of the MRC.

However, science and innovation minister Ian Pearson said: “I am very disappointed by the comments made by the committee about Sir John Chisholm’s appointment.

“Sir John has a first-class background in business, and has all the qualities needed to lead the MRC through the challenges of the future. He has my full backing.”

Medical Research Council

Copyright © PA Business 2007