Ed Lester, the chief land registrar and chief executive of HM Land Registry, has announced his intention to leave both roles. The announcement comes two months after ministers rebuffed a plan to spin off the bulk of the registry's activity's into a 'service delivery company'.

Lester, a qualified accountant, joined the registry in 2013 from the Student Loans Company. The agency said he has been 'responsible for conducting a major review of Land Registry’s commercial structure and for driving forward an ambitious transformation agenda'. His legacy includes the ambitious programme to take over from local authorities the maintenance of the local land charges register. 

Mark Boyle, chair of Land Registry said in a statement today:  “The board and I are sad that Ed has decided to leave Land Registry, but fully support his decision. Ed has played a key part in formulating a sustainable vision for Land Registry’s future. We are grateful that he has agreed to stay on until next year as the organisation will need the benefit of his wisdom and experience as we begin a major transformation of the organisation. When the time comes for his departure, we wish him all the very best for the future.'

Land Registry will now start the process of recruiting for the new chief land registrar and chief executive.