Panel will act as client for landmark project

The former chief executives of Historic England and the British Property Federation have been appointed to the body that will oversee and manage BDP’s £4bn revamp of the Houses of Parliament.

Liz Peace

Liz Peace

Liz Peace, who ran the BPF and is now chair of the Government Property Agency and the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, will lead the shadow sponsor board, with the governing bodies of both the House of Commons and House of Lords approving her appointment earlier this week.

Simon Thurley, the historian and former Historic England boss, is one of the 11 other board members, along with Crossrail chief executive Simon Wright and Paul Deighton, who was chief executive of London Olympic organisers Locog.

Simon Thurley

Simon Thurley

The sponsor board, together with its executive team, will act as the single client accountable to Parliament. It will own the budget, business case and scope of the programme and will also be responsible for overseeing the work of the delivery authority.

Legislation is required for the sponsor board which is why it is initially being set up in shadow form.

Earlier this year, both the Commons and Lords agreed to temporarily vacate the Palace of Westminster to allow the work on the building to be carried out in a single phase. They also agreed to establish an Olympic-style sponsor board, set up through legislation, and delivery authority to manage the work.

BDP beat Foster & Partners, HOK and Allies & Morrison to land the multi-billion pound contract to refurbish the Palace of Westminster. The architect also won the lead design role on the £500m revamp of MPs’ offices in Westminster, known as the Northern Estate Programme which will see a number of buildings restored in parallel with the restoration and renewal.


Members of the shadow sponsor board:


  • Liz Peace (Chair) is, currently serving as chair of the Government Property Agency, established to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Government Estate. She also chairs the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, which manages the UK’s largest regeneration project, as well as being a former chief executive of the British Property Federation.
  • Brigid Janssen has directed strategic communications for a wide variety of international financial institutions, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, the OECD in Paris, and the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank in Washington. She has served on the board of a heritage organisation in Canada and currently she advises clients on reputation management.

  • Marta Phillips has had a successful career in the public and private sectors finishing as chief executive of the Pensions Advisory Service. She has continued with her interest in the public sector and now has a portfolio of non-executive appointments mainly in the government and the education sectors.

  • Simon Thurley is a well-known historian and academic who has published many books on architectural history and heritage. Between 2002 and 2015 he was chief executive of Historic England and before that, for five years, was director of the Museum of London.

  • Simon Wright has more than 40 years’ experience in construction and project management and is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He is currently the chief executive of Crossrail and was director of Infrastructure at the Olympic Delivery Authority.

  • Lord Carter of Coles (Labour) has been a member of the House of Lords Audit Committee since 2013, on the Lords Rural Economy Committee since May 2018. Lord Carter was former member of the Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster.

  • Lord Deighton (Conservative) is the non-executive Chairman of Heathrow Airport, The Economist Group and the Holdingham Group and a non-executive Director of Square, Inc. He was CEO of LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games), was Commercial Secretary for HM Treasury and was responsible for the UK’s National Infrastructure Plan. He was a former member of the Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster.

  • Lord Geidt (Crossbencher) was recently the private secretary to The Queen. He was engaged in the decision to embark upon the present 10-year project to reservice Buckingham Palace.

  • Neil Gray (Scottish National Party) has been Member of Parliament for Airdrie & Shotts since the general election in May 2015. He is a member of the Commons Finance Committee and was a former member of the Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster. He is also currently the Shadow SNP Spokesperson for Work and Pensions.

  • Sir Patrick McLoughlin (Conservative) was elected as MP for West Derbyshire, now Derbyshire Dales, in 1986. He served as his party’s Chief Whip, first in Opposition and then in Government, before a four-year stint as Secretary of State for Transport. He has extensive experience of driving forward government business and implementation.

  • Baroness Scott of Needham Market (Liberal Democrat) is currently on the House of Lords Statutory Instruments Joint Committee, and has chaired and been a member of a variety of Lords committees for nearly 20 years. She was Party Chair for the Liberal Democrats.

  • Mark Tami (Labour) has been Member of Parliament for Alyn and Deeside since 2001. He is a member of the Commons Finance Committee and was a former member of the Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster. Prior to working in Westminster, Tami was head of policy at the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union.


  • Source: Parliament