E-envoy quits to return to Australia

Allan leaves post to spend time with ill wife in Australia

E-envoy Alex Allan quits his Cabinet Office post Tuesday for "personal reasons".

Allan, appointed last September, is returning to Australia to spend time with his wife who has been ill. Previously Allan was High Commissioner to Australia.

The e-envoy was appointed by prime minister Tony Blair as part of his drive towards a digital Britain. The main responsibilities of the e-envoy were to push forward the government's plans to put all services online by 2005, encourage UK businesses to embrace e-commerce and find ways of preventing a digital divide opening.

Allan worked closely with e-Minister Patricia Hewitt.

Speaking of his decision to quit Allan says in a statement. "I am sorry to be standing down from the post. I have found the job hugely stimulating and it has not been an easy decision." He remains confident that the team he has built up in the last year will continue to "carry the government's programme forward with vigour".

The government is keen to fill the post as soon as possible and will be advertising for a successor in the next few weeks. "We hope to have a replacement by early November," says a Cabinet Office spokesman.

Meanwhile it is expected that head of the civil service Sir Richard Wilson will temporarily fill the role.

Guy Kewney is convinced the idea of having an e-envoy was great. But the e-envoy Alex Allan failed to make his mark, which goes to show, good ideas alone are simply not enough. Go to AnchorDesk UK for the news comment.

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