LONDON (Reuters) - A top advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron was named as the most senior civil servant at the finance ministry on Friday, a few weeks after helping to secure Cameron’s deal for changes to Britain’s status in the European Union
Tom Scholar, who has also acted as a senior British envoy to the Group of Seven and Group of 20 countries, will replace Nick Macpherson as the Treasury’s permanent secretary, one of the most influential positions within Britain’s public sector.
Macpherson is due to leave the post at the end of March.
Chancellor George Osborne said he looked forward to working with Scholar “in the face of an increasingly turbulent global economy.” Scholar previously worked at the International Monetary Fund.
The appointment comes as Britain prepares to hold a referendum on June 23 on whether to stay in the EU. Scholar was one of the two main architects of a pre-referendum deal struck by Cameron with fellow EU leaders in February that gave Britain some more wiggle room on the bloc’s rules.
Scholar joined the Treasury in 1992 and helped Gordon Brown to work out the details of how to give the Bank of England independence in 1997, shortly after Brown took over as Chancellor. Scholar has been in his current role since 2013.
Reporting by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and William Schomberg, editing by Andy Bruce