Bob Kerslake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Lord Kerslake
Kerslake in 2012
Head of the Home Civil Service
In office
1 January 2012 – September 2014
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byGus O'Donnell
Succeeded byJeremy Heywood
Permanent Secretary
Department for Communities and Local Government
In office
Preceded byPeter Housden
Succeeded byMelanie Dawes
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Life peerage
17 March 2015 – 1 July 2023
Personal details
Robert Walter Kerslake

(1955-02-28)28 February 1955
Bath, Somerset, England
Died1 July 2023(2023-07-01) (aged 68)
Political partyNone (crossbencher)

Robert Walter Kerslake, Baron Kerslake, FAcSS (28 February 1955 – 1 July 2023) was a British senior civil servant. He was the head of the Home Civil Service from 2011 to 2014, succeeding Sir Gus O'Donnell.[1]

Early life[edit]

Kerslake was born on 28 February 1955 in Bath, Somerset.[2] He attended The Blue School, Wells.[3] He graduated with a first class degree in Mathematics from the University of Warwick, where he was general secretary of the students' union.[4]


Kerslake qualified as a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and went on to hold a number of posts with councils in London before becoming chief executive of the London Borough of Hounslow. He then moved to Sheffield to take up the post of chief executive of Sheffield City Council in 1997. From 2008 to 2010 he was chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, and in September 2010 was appointed permanent secretary of the Department for Communities and Local Government.[5] In December 2014 he was appointed the chair of King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, to begin in June 2015.[6] He was introduced as a crossbench life peer in the House of Lords on 17 March 2015,[7] and in October 2016, he became chair of the board of governors at Sheffield Hallam University.[8]

In July 2017, Kerslake was appointed chair of the independent investigation of the Manchester Arena bombing. The results of the investigation were published in a report, commonly referred to as the Kerslake Report, in March 2018.[9][10]

In December 2017, Kerslake resigned as chair of King's College Hospital Trust saying he protested at the "dire NHS funding problems", and calling for "a fundamental rethink [of] ... the way that the NHS is funded and organised".[11] Shortly afterward, reports surfaced that he had been asked to resign by the chair of NHS Improvement two days previously owing to the trust's "poor financial performance".[12]

From July 2018, Kerslake chaired the UK2070 Commission focusing on city and regional inequalities in the UK.[13] In 2019 he became chair of the New Economics Foundation.[14] In 2022, he became chair of Stockport Mayoral Development (MDC).[15] In 2023, it was reported that he had been working with the Labour Party in preparation for the next general election.[16]


Kerslake died from cancer on 1 July 2023, at the age of 68.[17]


In 2003, Kerslake was named in a Guardian list of the 100 most influential people in the public sector.[18]

In 2004, he received an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University for his "distinctive contribution to public service".[19]

In the 2005 New Year Honours, Kerslake was knighted "for services to Local Government".[20][21][22]

In 2012, he became an honorary graduate (Doctor of Law) of the University of Warwick.[4]

In 2015, Kerslake was made a life peer, taking the title Baron Kerslake, of Endcliffe in the City of Sheffield.[23][24] He was also elected a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS).[25]


  1. ^ "Sir Bob Kerslake". Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Kerslake, Baron, (Robert Walter Kerslake) (born 28 Feb. 1955)". Who's Who 2021. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  3. ^ Trim, Liam (9 May 2017). "50 famous people who went to school in Somerset and Dorset". somersetlive.
  4. ^ a b "Summer 2012 Honorary Graduates (full list)". University of Warwick. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Sir Bob Kerslake Biography". Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  6. ^ Kerslake wins top NHS job,; accessed 11 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Lord Kerslake". UK Parliament. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Members of the Board of Governors". Sheffield Hallam University website. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  9. ^ Pidd, Helen (27 March 2018). "Kerslake findings: emergency responses to Manchester Arena attack". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  10. ^ "Manchester Arena bombing: Key points from the official report". BBC News. 27 March 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  11. ^ Kerslake, Bob (10 December 2017). "I'm quitting as a hospital boss: dire NHS funding problems give me no choice". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Hughes, Laura; Boyle, Danny (11 December 2017). "Lord Kerslake was 'asked to resign' as NHS trust chairman two days before he quit". The Daily Telegraph.
  13. ^ "Government must 'go big or go home' to tackle widening regional inequality in UK, report warns". Independent. 27 February 2020. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Remembering our wonderful chair, Lord Kerslake". New Economics Foundation. 12 July 2023. Retrieved 15 July 2023.
  15. ^ Barlow, Nigel (22 January 2020). "Metrolink heading to Stockport by 2025 as Lord Kerslake chairman of the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation". About Manchester.
  16. ^ "Lord Bob Kerslake: Former Civil Service head dies aged 68". BBC News. 2 July 2023. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  17. ^ "Lord Bob Kerslake: Former Civil Service head dies aged 68". BBC News. 2 July 2023. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  18. ^ The innovators, The Guardian, 10 September 2003. Retrieved 28 May 2010
  19. ^ Honorary awards – archive Archived 23 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine, SHU. Retrieved 28 May 2010
  20. ^ Council chief receives knighthood, BBC News, 31 December 2004. Retrieved 28 May 2010
  21. ^ "No. 57509". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2004. p. 1.
  22. ^ "No. 57737". The London Gazette. 23 August 2005. p. 10898.
  23. ^ "Peerage for Sir Bob Kerslake". Press release. Prime Minister's Office. 26 February 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  24. ^ "No. 61177". The London Gazette. 23 March 2015. p. 5242.
  25. ^ "New Fellows Announced". Academy of Social Sciences. March 2015. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2017.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by Permanent Secretary of the Department for Communities and Local Government
2010 to 2015
Succeeded by
Preceded by Head of the Home Civil Service
2012 to 2015
Succeeded by