The Bar Standards Board has announced that Labour peer Baroness Blackstone (Tessa Blackstone) will succeed Sir Andrew Burns as chair of the board from next year.The appointment was confirmed during the bar regulator’s board meeting last night.

Blackstone, who has a background in education and politics, was appointed to the lords in 1987. She held two posts in Tony Blair's government, as minister of state for education and employment from 1997 to 2001 and minister for the arts from 2001 to 2003.

A former lecturer at the London School of Economics, Blackstone is a former chair of the General Advisory Council of the BBC and Institute for Public Policy Research and is currently chair of the British Library Board and the Orbit Group of housing associations.

Blackstone said: ‘The BSB’s role is to regulate barristers in the public interest. Ensuring that the bar is a strong and diverse profession offering high quality services and access to justice for the public is vital for our society.’

BSB director general Vanessa Davies added: ‘Baroness Blackstone has had a remarkable career in British public life and brings with her a great deal of relevant experience of education and of leading important institutions. I very much look forward to working with her.’