Brigid joined the Hansard Society in December 2016 to lead its work on Parliament and Brexit, as well as contribute to its ongoing research on the legislative process, parliamentary procedure and scrutiny, and public political engagement. From 2007 to 2014 she was a Committee Specialist for the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, where she led on the Committee’s EU-related work. In the first six months of 2016 she was on the research team of Britain Stronger in Europe. She has also worked as assistant to an MEP in Brussels and as an analyst and researcher on EU and European affairs in the private sector and at the University of Birmingham and King’s College London.
After completing BA and MPhil degrees at the University of Oxford in PPE and European Politics, respectively, she spent the first part of her career focusing on the politics of post-communist transition and EU accession in Central Europe, and completed her PhD at the University of Birmingham on the case of Hungary. She has given media comment, appeared before select committees and published several journal articles and book contributions.
Thimios is responsible for coordinating and managing the multi-layered Hansard Scholars programme, and leads the programme within Parliament. He joined the Hansard Society in April 2013 as a member of the research team, before moving to the Scholars team on his appointment as Scholars and Finance Coordinator. He took over as Programme Manager of the Scholars programme in August 2014.
Thimios has worked in the UK, Greek and European Parliaments and has considerable experience as a publisher of a historical local newspaper in Greece. He graduated with a BA in History and Politics from Panteion University in Greece and an MA in Politics from Westminster University.
A former chair of the House of Lords Constitution Committee, Baronness Jay was first appointed to the House as a life peer in 1992, where she served until 1997 as the Opposition Spokesperson for Health. She was then appointed to the government following the 1997 general election, first as Minister of State at the Department of Health (1997-98) and then as Deputy Leader of the House of Lords (1997-98), before serving as Leader of the House, Lord Privy Seal, and Minister for Women (1998-2001). As Leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Jay played a pivotal role in the reform that led to the removal of the hereditary peers.
Baronness Jay co-chaired the cross-party Iraq Commission (with Tom King and Paddy Ashdown) and has held a number of non-executive posts, including at British Telecom and Independent News and Media plc. Prior to joining the House of Lords, she was the founding director of the National Aids Trust, and spent a number of years as a current affairs journalist and TV producer on programmes such as the BBC’s Panorama, and Thames Television’s This Week. She is currently a member of the Overseas Development Institute Council and Joint President of the Foreign Policy Centre. She joined the Hansard Society Board in 2012.
Ruth is responsible for budget development and financial management at the Society as well as financial governance and charitable compliance matters. Before joining the Hansard Society in 2007 she was Director of Central Services for the Federation of London Youth Clubs. Here, her role included the reorganisation of the federation’s accounting system and responsibility for human resources, secretarial, legal and IT functions. From 1991 she was Finance Manager for Penta Housing Limited and also worked as a self-employed accountant. Ruth is a keen volunteer; she currently sits on the Board of Barnet Community Homes and is Treasurer of Elders Voice in Brent.
The Controller of BBC Parliament and Parliaments Online, and at BBC Radio 4 the executive editor of ‘Week in Westminster’, and editor of ‘Today in Parliament’, ‘Yesterday in Parliament’ and current affairs documentary programmes. He began his career at the BBC as a news trainee where he worked in the Manchester and Leeds newsrooms before moving to the Nine O’Clock News as a producer at the time of the first Gulf War. He was one of the first output editors on the new BBC World Service Television News in 1991 and was later appointed news editor for BBC World. He was responsible for the output during the war in Kosovo and was overnight output editor for BBC Television News on the night of the death of Princess Diana. He became Managing Editor, Television News, with responsibility for BBC News 24 and BBC World in 1999 before joining BBC Parliament two years later. He has lectured widely on broadcasting and Parliament for organisations such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, the European Broadcasting Union and UNESCO.
Luke manages the development and co-ordination of the Society’s digital communications strategy, including the website, social media and e-newsletters. He also manages the Society’s varied programme of public events and supports the implementation of its fund-raising and development plan.
Luke joined the Hansard Society in 2010 as an intern on the Scholars Programme, having previously interned as a writer for a politics and culture website. He graduated with a BA in Philosophy (2007) and an MA in Social & Political Thought (2009) from the University of Sussex, and a PG Cert in Journalism and Web Development (2013) from Birkbeck College, University of London.
Lawrence is a PhD student at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on the representation gap, looking at local influences on public perceptions of politics and politicians, and making use in particular of the British Election Study dataset. His work is co-supervised by Professor Edward Fieldhouse and Professor Maria Sobolewska.
Lawrence is an ESRC CASE scholar and his PhD is partly supported by the Hansard Society, with which he collaborates to develop the impact of his research.
Lawrence was previously a student at the University of Exeter, completing a BA in History and an MRes in Politics.
Professor Catterall has written extensively on British constitutional issues, party politics and the media. In addition to editing the journal National Identities, she has current research interests ranging from the development and operation of British Cabinet committees to the role of the Leader of the Opposition in Westminster systems. Professor Catterall is Professor of History and Policy at the University of Westminster.
Dianne was formerly Chief Operating Officer (2007-12) and Deputy Clerk (2003-07) at the National Assembly for Wales. Prior to joining the National Assembly, she served as Corporate Director and Monitoring Officer at Cardiff Council, having previously worked as a solicitor and senior manager for a number of local authorities. Throughout her public sector career, Dianne specialised in strategic management, public law and the good governance of public sector bodies. She is now working as an independent consultant and non-executive in the public and not-for-profit sector. She is an independent member of the government’s Parliamentary and Political Service Honours Committee, and as an Associate Fellow at Global Partners Governance she is also engaged in parliamentary strengthening work in Jordan.
Sue Inglish was Head of Political Programmes for BBC News from 2005 to 2015, responsible for the BBC’s political, parliamentary and election news, programmes and digital content. She chaired the committee of broadcasters and politicians which negotiated the first Prime Ministerial election debates in the UK.
She is an independent governor of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, and chair of the International News Safety Institute, a charity working for the safety of journalists around the world.
Lord Sharkey was appointed to the House of Lords as a life peer in 2010, following a career in advertising and business. He was Co-founder and Chairman of the Bainsfair Sharkey Trott agency, after being Managing Director of Saatchi & Saatchi UK, where he had responsibility for Margaret Thatcher’s 1987 general election campaign advertising. He has variously served as Deputy Chairman of Saatchi International, Chairman of BDDP Holdings Ltd, Chief Operating Officer at Blue Arrow Plc and Chairman of Highland Partners Europe. He was Chair of the Liberal Democrats’ general election campaign in 2010 and campaign director of ‘YES to Fairer Votes’ for the 2011 AV referendum.
As Group Financial Controller of the BBC, Shirley is responsible for all statutory and corporate reporting for the BBC, including the Annual Report and Accounts. She is also the Finance Director for all the Corporation’s central services (Marketing and Audiences, Property Finance, HR, Licence Fee, Strategy and External Affairs). As Director of Finance and Business for Radio, she managed the financial strategy and performance for the BBC Radio networks, Orchestras and the Proms. She previously managed the finances for the TV Channels and BBC Films, was Head of Finance and Governance for the new Broadcasting House project, and was Head of Finance for TV News and Weather. Prior to joining the BBC, Shirley worked in Audit and Advisory with KPMG, including a secondment to their Melbourne office. She serves as a Governor of the University of West London. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Treasurer.
Joel conducts the Society’s continued research into the legislative process, the effectiveness of Parliament in scrutinising and holding the executive to account and the public’s engagement with politics.
He is co-author of ‘The Devil is in the Detail: Parliament and Delegated Legislation’. Prior to joining the Hansard Society in 2014, Joel was a Political Consultant for Dods Parliamentary Communications and has also worked at the Electoral Commission. He graduated from Bristol University in 2005 with a degree in Politics and Social Policy.
Paul served as a Clerk in the House of Commons in 1975-1977 and 1979-2001. From 2001 to 2006 he was Clerk to the National Assembly for Wales. He returned to the House of Commons as Director of Strategic Projects from 2007 to 2010. From 2011 to 2104, he was Chair of the Commission on Devolution in Wales.
Paul is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and an Honorary Professor at the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University. He was a member of the National Assembly for Wales’s Expert Panel on Electoral Reform. He has also worked as Presidential Adviser in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and has written and lectured extensively on Parliament and the constitution. He now works for a number of organisations advising parliaments all over the world.
As a Politics and International Relations lecturer for 16 years at the University of Portsmouth, Dr McVeigh has teaching and research interests including British Politics, Political Economy, Globalization and European Integration. Dr McVeigh also has extensive media experience, speaking on numerous public platforms during the EU Referendum campaign, and he has worked in both the US Congress and Westminster.
Amelia Knott is Managing Director at Romanac Consulting Ltd, which supports businesses to understand and manage their human rights issues, with a particular focus on modern slavery and gender. Previously, she spent four years as Corporate Responsibility Manager for Centrica plc, where she focused on policy development, reporting and communications, with particular interests in climate change, social accountability, energy security, ethics and governance. She was also responsible for managing Centrica’s website and social media strategy.
Prior to her role at Centrica, Amelia managed communications for the Industry and Parliament Trust, a Westminster-based charity that seeks to promote mutual understanding between Parliament and the worlds of business, industry and commerce. In her spare time, she co-founded a small citizenship charity to provide free teaching materials for schools. She has an MSc in International Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and an MA in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge.
Lord Lexden (Alistair Cooke) is a former senior Conservative Party official, political historian and author. A Conservative Peer since 2010, he serves as Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords and Deputy Chairman of Committees. He previously served on the House of Lords Constitution Committee and is currently a member of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.
Following university teaching and lecturer roles at Cambridge, Edinburgh and Queen’s University Belfast, Lord Lexden served as political adviser to Airey Neave, Conservative Spokesman on Northern Ireland (1977-79). He was Assistant and then Deputy Director of the Conservative Research Department from 1983 to 1997, and Director of the Conservative Political Centre from 1988 to 1997. From 2004 until 2010 he was consultant to the Conservative Research Department, and he has been the Party’s official historian since 2009. He is also Vice Chairman of the Conservative Policy Forum and Chairman of the Conservative Party Archive Trust.
He has a long-standing interest in education, serving previously as General Secretary of the Independent Schools Council (1997-2004), and currently as President of the Independent Schools Association and of the Northern Ireland Schools Debating Competition.
He is an obituarist for The Times and a book reviewer for The House magazine.
More information about Lord Lexden, his publications and current work can be found on his website: www.alistairlexden.org.uk
Ruth is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of the Society and leads its research programme. She has appeared before more than a dozen parliamentary select committees and inquiries, and regularly contributes to a wide range of current affairs programmes on radio and television, commentating on parliamentary process and political reform.
In 2012 she served as adviser to the independent Commission on Political and Democratic Reform in Gibraltar, and in 2013 as an independent member of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Committee Review Group. Prior to joining the Society in 2008, she was head of research and communications for a Labour MP and Minister and ran his general election campaigns in 2001 and 2005 in a key marginal constituency.
In 2004 she worked for Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign in the battleground state of Florida. In 1999-2001 she worked as a Client Manager and historical adviser at the Public Record Office (now the National Archives), after being awarded a PhD in political history (on the electoral strategy and philosophy of the Liberal Party 1970-1983) from the University of Leeds, where she also taught Modern European History and Contemporary International Politics.
A freelance journalist and broadcaster, she has written and presented a wide range of radio and television programmes, including: for BBC Radio 4 (The World at One, The World This Weekend, Agenda, Talking Politics, Beyond Westminster, The Medium and the Message, and many documentaries and series), for the BBC World Service (The World Today, International Question Time), for BBC1 (On The Record, political party conferences), and for Teachers TV the weekly News. She is a former presenter of Channel 4 News as well as the Channel’s flagship foreign affairs programme The World This Week, and its Parliament focused House to House – plus many other documentaries and features.
She has anchored numerous live events, and presented arts programmes such as The Turner Prize, Glyndebourne Opera and the European Film Awards. She has chaired many debates for BBC 4 and Channel 4 including the world’s first deliberative poll – Power and the People – in March 1994. In 1995 she received the inaugural Woman in Film and Television Award for News and Current Affairs. She writes and presents the BBC’s coverage of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Simon Kaye is the Lecturer in Parliament and Politics for the Hansard Scholars Programme, and also teaches at the Department of Political Economy, King’s College London. He has previously taught and studied throughout the University of London, receiving his MSc from the London School of Economics in 2009 and working as a researcher at University College London’s Constitution Unit between 2010 and 2012, as well as occasionally being employed in applied politics.
During his doctoral studies at King’s College London, Simon was awarded several competitive fellowships. His wide-ranging research interests include democratic theory and methodological issues in the social sciences, political theory, and history. At present he is writing on the impact of widespread public ignorance on democracies and the extent to which psychological research can play a part in the study of politics.
Lisa is responsible for the overall and strategic direction of the Society’s undergraduate Hansard Scholars Programme, new programme development and compliance processes. She joined the Hansard Society in June 2009, prior to which she spent many years working for one of the first study abroad programmes to provide pre-professional academic internships for North American students in London and several European capitals, first as London Programmes Director and later as European Programmes Director.
Lisa has also worked for an NGO for which she organised political training programmes and provided in-house editorial support. Lisa received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Speech Communications from the University of Virginia, USA. She is on the Board of Directors and Deputy Chair of the Association of American Study Abroad Programmes, AASAP UK, and is AASAP’s delegate to the QAA Alternative Providers Liaison Forum.
The founder of Steel & Shamash solicitors, Gerald Shamash is one of the UK’s leading practitioners in electoral law. He specialises in local and parliamentary election law (including that governing European, Scottish and Welsh elections), parliamentary boundary inquiries, parliamentary rules relating to the conduct of MPs, Standards Board and Adjudication Tribunals for Councillors, judicial review for public law, and local government law. He is recognised in the Legal 500 and by Chambers and Partners as a leader in his field, and he has been involved in a number of important election law cases including Ahmed v Kennedy (2003) and Knight v Nicholls (2004).
Since 1990 he has acted as solicitor to the Labour Party, acting for both its National Executive Committee and National Constitutional Committee including on disciplinary matters, and he has represented the Party on parliamentary and local government boundary reviews, and at ministerial meetings and conferences. As well as advising on reform of electoral law, he has lectured and provided training in many jurisdictions including Sweden, Malawi, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Cuba and Russia. He is a Visiting Professor in Electoral and Constitutional Law at the University of Derby and is Chairman of Manchester United Supporters Trust. He joined the Hansard Society Board in 2001.
David served as the Clerk of the Parliaments, the most senior official in the House of Lords, between 2011 and 2017. During his career in the House his experience included stints as Clerk of the Journals, Clerk of Committees and Clerk of the Overseas Office and for several years, on secondment to the Cabinet Office, he served as Private Secretary to the Leader of the House of Lords and Government Chief Whip. Following his retirement he was appointed as an honorary Senior Research Associate of the Constitution Unit at UCL. He is also a member of the Southwark Diocesan Synod and secretary of the Dulwich Deanery Synod. In 1988 he was the winner of BBC Mastermind; the life and career of Nancy Astor was his specialist subject.