UK competition chief Tyrie to step down in September

LONDON (Reuters) - Andrew Tyrie, chair of Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), will step down in September, just over two years after taking up the role, the CMA said on Thursday.

Tyrie, a former senior UK lawmaker, said he had helped to make proposals for wide-ranging changes at the CMA last year, and now wants to make the case “more forcefully” for the reforms in parliament and beyond, which would not be possible as chair of the watchdog.

“On taking the role, I was asked by the Government to map out a route to a new type of competition authority, one better equipped to understand and respond to what most concerns ordinary consumers,” he said.

“And in our response to the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve reoriented the organisation to listen and act on consumer concerns more quickly and effectively.”

The watchdog is set to play a bigger role from the end of the year due to the country’s departure from the European Union, ending Brussels’ jurisdiction over big mergers and antitrust issues in Britain.

Tyrie became a member of parliament’s House of Lords after standing down as an elected member of the lower chamber where he made a name for himself by forensically quizzing central bankers and regulators as chair of the influential Treasury Select Committee.

In the past he has been touted as a potential chief of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, which is currently waiting for the government to appoint a permanent chief executive.

Britain’s business ministry will recruit a new chair for the CMA.

Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Lawrence White and Toby Chopra