Ed Lester gets new £135,000 a year Whitehall job

Ed Lester heads the land registry whose HQ was sold for £37m recently. Pic credit: trevorcoultart.wordpress.com

Ed Lester heads the land registry whose HQ was sold for £37m recently. Pic credit: trevorcoultart.wordpress.com

No problem for top people – even in centre of controversies – getting a new job in Whitehall.

Ed Lester, the former chief executive of the Students Loans Company, whose tax arrangements caused a furore and led to a Whitehall wide inquiry, has been appointed by the  Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to head the Land Registry.

Not surprisingly there is no mention of his controversial past in the Whitehall news release .The same ministry who approved his appointment to the SLC on a deal which meant he received no deductions for tax and national insurance at source, has now appointed him to head the Land Registry – the body  alongside Companies House I used to trace his company and address.

Mr Lester will get a £135,000 a year – somewhat less than at the SLC – and he will pay tax and national insurance at source. He will be eligible for a 20 per cent performance bonus.

Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said:
“Ed Lester has the right skills, experience and ambition to meet the new challenges that face the Land Registry. His previous experience of running the Student Loans Company will help to ensure that the Land Registry can become a more nimble, digitally driven organisation.

He is taking on a tough job. The Land Registry  is in  the middle of a controversial plan to slim down its workforce and could eventually be seen as a candidate for privatisation. It has to improve efficiency by 60 per cent and cut costs by £40m a year over five years.

He is likely to find himself under close scrutiny and his decisions will affect every home and business owner in the country when they come to sell or buy a property.