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Anti-retentions lord leads specialist body

NEWS

THE SPECIALIST Engineering Contractors Group has appointed anti-retentions campaigner Lord O'Neill of Clackmannan as president.

Lord O'Neill - who has been on the board of the trade association for a year - succeeds John Harrower, who is stepping down after four years in the role.

The former Labour MP spent 10 years as chairman of the House of Commons trade and industry committee, where he led two public inquiries into retentions.

In 2002, the committee called for the system to be abolished in public sector contracts by 2007. Its second report on the subject also criticised Government apathy on the issue.

The group's chairman, Trevor Hursthouse, said: 'Martin has been a key man in getting our message across in Whitehall over the past year and we hope he will be able to play an even more creative and influential role.'