Former government adviser to take up children’s commissioner post

4Children chief Anne Longfield had her independence as commissioner questioned in parliament

Former strategy adviser to the prime minister Anne Longfield has been appointed as the next children’s commissioner.

The chief executive of 4Children, a charity delivering support services to young people, will be responsible for promoting the rights of children to government.

Before being selected, Longfield was questioned in parliament by an education committee on whether she would be able to be an independent advocate, given her background working in the prime minister’s strategy unit.

British Association of Social Workers’ professional officer Nushra Mansuri said due process had been followed.

“I would like to think her independence won’t be compromised with respect to any previous roles she has had.

“I wish her well in her new appointment and am sure that she will continue to be as strong an advocate for children in her new role as she has been in her previous one.”

Questioned about her priorities for the role, Longfield said she would work to make sure children’s voices were heard and to improve awareness around child sexual exploitation.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan said: “Anne has shown relentless dedication and drive to improving the lives of children and young people.

“I know she shares my commitment to championing children’s rights and safeguarding their interests- particularly the most vulnerable.”

Longfield  will replace current children’s commissioner Maggie Atkinson, who has held the post since 2010, in March.

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