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Former senior civil servant joins Portman Group as chairman

The Portman Group, the drinks industry's social responsibility and regulatory body, has appointed former civil servant Philip Rycroft as its new chairman.

Philip, who began his civil service career in 1989 and was mostly recently permanent secretary to the Department for Exiting the EU, brings a mix of private and public sector experience to the organisation. He replaces former chairman Sir Martin Narey, who stepped down in November 2019.

This year has been one of exponential growth for the Portman Group, with five new members joining including Campari and cider maker Thatchers and more than 130 organisations now signed up to its code of practice.

Philip said: "It is with great pleasure that I join the Portman Group, the first industry regulator committed to supporting moderation and responsible drinking. Like so many industries, drinks producers and retailers are facing an incredibly tough external environment and I'm keen to play my part.

"For the good of the self-regulatory model I hope to maintain and then accelerate the exceptional membership growth of 2020. We have a huge cross-section of support for the Portman Group model, shown in the range of bodies which are signatories to the code. If more joined us as members, the future of the industry could be built using their perspectives."

John Timothy, chief executive of the Portman Group, said: "Securing someone of Philip's stature as our new chairman is a real coup for the Portman Group. We are privileged to have his insight, knowledge and expertise. He understands the mechanics of the Scottish and UK governments as well as the motivations of socially conscious businesses."

25 September 2020 - Bethany Whymark