Angharad Thomas OBE

Head of Drugs and Firearms Licensing – Home Office

Angharad is a career civil servant, joining the Home Office in late 2000. She is a graduate of the University of London (BSc (hons)- Geography) and holds an MA (Open) in Environment, Policy and Society. She is a Qualified Project Manager, and holds an Advanced Certificate in Investigatory Practice enabling her to be competently cross-examined as an ‘Export Witness’ in Court.

She was awarded an OBE (Officer or the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2015 for services to the pharmaceutical industry and the control of drugs in the UK.

Angharad has extensive experience of casework and operational management, initially in Immigration, before taking on the role of Head of Drug Licensing in December 2009. Under her stewardship, the unit today operates an internationally acclaimed risk-based licensing regime, and for the past five years has operated on a full-cost recovery basis as a multi-million pound business. She regularly represents the UK at the European Commission in Brussels and in Vienna, at the International Narcotics Control Board, and added Firearms to her portfolio in December 2014. Brexit planning is now taking a growing amount of time.

She has been instrumental in ensuring Mountain Rescue and Search and Rescue organisations throughout the UK have proper access to drugs to treat sick and critically injured walkers and climbers on the hills. Her unit is also responsible for the licensing of ‘Section 5’ firearms.

Most recently, she has been spearheading the licensing responses to enable a number of high profile cases involving children with epilepsy to access certain cannabis-based medicines for the first time. She is responsible for implementing, on a practical level, the Home Office licensing response following the recent changes in the law relating to ‘Cannabis-Based Products for Medicinal Use’.

Away from the office

Angharad is happiest up a mountain (climbing Kilimanjaro in 2011) and is a keen endurance walker. Her son- Rhys- is a 4th Form (Yr 10) student and shares her love of the outdoors too, planning a trip with mum up Kilimanjaro’s Western Breach, some overland adventures and closer to home, exploring the Scottish Highlands and more remote parts of wales. Angharad is also keeping busy restoring Rhys’s first car- A 1983 ‘short wheelbase’ Series 3 Land Rover.

Angharad is a Mckenzie Friend, focusing on representing and assisting those who cannot afford Legal Representation in the Children and Family Courts.