Ministerial clarification

January 21, 2010

You kindly reported my comment that ministers should have the discretion to choose and replace their own advisers ("We 'just don't like them' is adequate reason to dismiss advisers, claims shadow science minister", www.timeshighereducation.co.uk, 15 January).

May I clarify that my remarks do not imply that I believe advisers should be dismissed contrary to the terms of their engagement or best practice. Ministers must carry the can with the electorate for these and other decisions they make in office, and the Conservative Party supports the Sense About Science principles on independent scientific advice as a good basis for a new framework governing the provision of independent scientific advice in government.

While it may be right that a minister has the power to dismiss for any reason they see fit - within the guidelines and subject to the law - I certainly would not advocate it.

Adam Afriyie MP, Shadow Minister for Science and Innovation.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Globalisation

Times Higher Education World University Rankings data reveal the top 200 most outward-looking institutions

Common cactus finch (Geospiza scandens)

Tiffany Taylor on a thought-provoking view of the forces acting to ensure survival

Stressed businessman answering four telephones

Some surveys show faculty putting in at least 60 hours a week, but research casts doubt on whether this is a productive routine

Student asking question during class

University of Reading research finds link between undergraduate satisfaction and ethnicity of lecturers

Level of quality compass

Authors argue this means universities should spend less on senior academics and give promising younger scholars more of a chance