Deirdre Hutton

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Dame Deirdre Mary Hutton DBE (born 15 March 1949),[1] is a British public servant, termed by the British media as "Queen of the Quangos"[2] and "The great quango hopper".[3][4] She is currently the Chair of the UK's Civil Aviation Authority.

Early career[edit]

A former anti-apartheid demonstrator who was once arrested in South Africa,[4] after a short private sector career[2] working for Anchor housing association (1973-75),[1] she then became a researcher for Glasgow Chamber of Commerce (1975-80),[3] before becoming its chair (1980-82).[1]

Public appointments[edit]

Since this time, Hutton has worked for over 10 major non-departmental public bodies, unofficially called "quangos", in 30 years.[3] Her first appointment was in 1980 to the Arts Council of Scotland.[4]

She developed her career in championing consumer issues within public sector bodies, particularly in health and food standards and regulation, including: Chair of the Foresight Panel on the Food Chain and Crops for Industry; Chair of the Food Chain Centre; member of the Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food (Curry Commission). She chaired the board of Rural Forum Scotland in 1999 when it collapsed due to insolvency.[5] She was, until June 2008, the Vice-Chair of the European Food Safety Authority Management Board. She is Honorary Vice-President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology.[1]

Hutton was non-executive Director of the Scottish Borders Health Board and a member of The King's Fund Organizational Audit Council. She was a member of the Wilson Committee on Complaints in the National Health Service, and of the General Dental Council.[1]

For five years until 2005, she was Chair of the National Consumer Council, having formerly chaired the Scottish Consumer Council. She was Vice-Chair of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency,[6] a member of the Sustainable Development Commission and a member of the Energy Advisory Panel for the UK Department of Trade and Industry. She was a member of the Better Regulation Task Force. Chair of the Personal Investment Authority Ombudsman Council, Hutton was then Deputy Chair of the Financial Services Authority until December 2007.[1][7][8] She was a member of the Secretary of State's Consultative Steering Group on the Scottish Parliament.[1]

During 2008, she was on the three-member panel that conducted an independent review of the postal services on behalf of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. Hutton was (2011-16) a non-executive Director of Castle Trust,[9]and non-executive member of the Treasury Board, and Thames Water.

Hutton is one of 32 Vice-Presidents of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. Appointed to the board of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as a non-executive director in April 2009,[10] Hutton was appointed chair in 2009 by Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon,[4] replacing Sir Roy McNulty;[11] she was paid £130,000 for two days' work a week in 2010,[12] which was still the case as of 2015, making her one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Hutton was appointed CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for 1998,[14] and advanced to DBE in 2004's.[15] In April 2010 she was awarded a Fellowship of City and Guilds.

Divorced,[4] from Alasdair Hutton, former MEP, Hutton has two sons, Thomas and Nicholas Hutton. Her hobbies include gardening and chamber music.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Dame Deirdre Mary Hutton". Debretts. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Dame Deirdre Hutton – queen of the quangos". Daily Telegraph. 15 November 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Steve Doughty (9 September 2010). "Bonfire of the quangocrats: Four more public sector chieftains facing the chop". Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Auslan Cramb (21 April 2010). "Deirdre Hutton, CAA chairman: profile". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Financial Services Authority,; accessed 7 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Changes to the Financial Services Authority Board". HM Treasury; retrieved 12 June 2009.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Civil Aviation Authority
  11. ^ "Sir Roy McNulty Retires as UK CAA chairman". Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 26 January 2012. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Christopher Booker (5 June 2010). "Quangos: the more we pay, the less we get". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "Senior officials 'high earners' salaries as at 30 September 2015". 17 December 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  14. ^ "Issue 55155, Supplement, Page 9". The London Gazette. HM Government. 1998-06-15. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  15. ^ "Issue 57315, Supplement, Page 6". The London Gazette. HM Government. 2004-06-12. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 

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