David Rowlands

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Revolving Door.jpg This article is part of the Revolving Door project of Spinwatch.

David Rowlands is a former senior UK civil servant and chairman of high-speed railway HS2, the Ltd. company set up (and owned) by the Government in January 2009 and tasked to investigate the case for high speed rail between London and Scotland.

He passed away on 11 May 2014 after a short battle with cancer.[1]

Revolving door conflict rejected by ACOBA

In 2008 the Sunday Telegraph revealed that,

the Government has quashed attempts by BAA to hand a lucrative directorship to Sir David Rowlands, a former civil servant who played a key role in directing airport policy. Sir David, who spent four years as the permanent secretary of the Department for Transport before retiring last May, is understood to have been offered a role as non-executive director. Sources close to Downing Street said he had accepted the post in principle before the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments recommended against the move because of its political sensitivity.[2]


  • Member of Advisory Panel, Xansa plc, November 2007-2008.[3] Approved by ACOBA "subject to the condition that, for 12 months from his last day of service, he should not become personally involved in lobbying UK Government Ministers or officials on behalf of his new employer"[4]

Given "unconditional approval" by ACOBA to take up the roles of:


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sir David Rowlands Angel Trains, 12 May 2014, accessed 26 November 2014
  2. Row over 'lobbying by BAA employee' The Sunday Telegraph, 29/4/2008
  3. David Rowlands Debretts, accessed 7 November 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments Ninth Report 2006-2008 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 7 November 2014
  5. Plan for inquiry into A12 problem BBC, 15 February 2008, accessed 7 November 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 Tenth Report 2008-2009 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 25 November 2014