AN Ealing man has been appointed High Sheriff for Greater London.
Kevin McGrath was sworn into the role by the Lord Chief Justice at a ceremony at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The principal formal duty of a high sheriff includes attendance at any royal visits in a county – in his case Greater London - and support for High Court judges when on circuit.
These days, however, they play an increasingly active and supportive role for emergency services and in lending encouragement to public sector agencies such as the probation and prison services, as well as voluntary sector groups involved in crime reduction and social cohesion.
Mr McGrath, who is chairman of M&M Asset Management, brings extensive experience of shaping UK penal policy, having served as a commissioner on the high-profile Independent Commission on English Prisons Today.
In addition, he was a member of the Criminal Justice Policy Working Group, under the leadership Sadiq Khan, the Shadow Justice Minister, and the independent Alcohol and Crime Commission, chaired by John Podmore.
Mr McGrath was brought up on the White City Estate before moving to Acton and now Ealing Common, where he lives with his wife and charity co-founder, Kate, and their two children.
His continuing work with charitable bodies, including The Clink, The Howard League for Penal Reform and the Friends of Grendon Prison, highlights a commitment during his year in office to tackle crime in Greater London and find solutions to reduce re-offending rates.
In a varied public life, Mr McGrath is chairman of the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, vice-chairman and co-founder of The Clink Prison Restaurant Charity, the first and only commercial restaurant to be built inside a working British prison, and a trustee of the Old Vic theatre.
He was a Labour Party candidate in the 2009 European Parliament elections, a candidate for the North East Hampshire constituency at the 2005 general election, for Ealing in the 2006 London borough elections and for the London Assembly in 2012.
A former chairman and director of Queens Park Rangers FC, he now chairs QPR Ladies.