The independent elections watchdog
and regulator of party and election finance

Section menu

The Commissioners

Our ten Commissioners lead our strategy and set our priorities.

They are independent of political parties – though our four most recently appointed Commissioners bring direct experience in political parties – and are accountable directly to Parliament.

Jump straight to information about outside meetings, interests, hospitality and expenses.

Our Commissioners

Jenny Watson Jenny Watson, Chair

Term: 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016

Find out about Jenny Watson...

Jenny Watson joined us in January 2009 as our second Chair. She is a non-Executive Director of WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) and a trustee of the charity Money Advice Trust. She is Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel at the Portman Group.

She was the last Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission prior to the creation of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, and is a past Deputy Chairman of both the Banking Code Standards Board, and of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. She has also worked in a number of human rights organisations, including Liberty and Charter88.

Commissioner Anna Carragher Anna Carragher

Term: 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2015

Find out about Anna Carragher...

Anna Carragher is a member of the Board of the Arts Council for Northern Ireland and a Trustee of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. She has worked as a journalist and producer for the BBC in London and Northern Ireland on programmes including Today, Newsnight, Question Time and Any Questions, and as Editor of European and Correspondent Programmes. She was Head of Programmes for BBC Northern Ireland from 1995 to 2001 and Controller, BBC Northern Ireland from 2001 to 2006. She joined the Electoral Commission on 1st January 2012.

Photo of Commissioner Gareth Halliwell Gareth Halliwell

Term: 13 March 2013 to 12 March 2017

Find out about Gareth Halliwell...

Gareth Halliwell is our Commissioner with responsibility for Wales since March 2013. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, a member of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling and the European Federation of National Engineering Associations. He has specific knowledge and expertise in leading major operational, capital investment and change management programmes across an international spectrum.

He had an international career in various business sectors, including with Accor/Novotel, the French Hotel & Catering operation, and primarily in the drinks industry for almost 30 years with Guinness/Diageo.

Gareth worked at senior executive and Board level developing and delivering leading-edge business strategies with multi-million pound profit and loss responsibility in international companies based in UK and abroad.

He is multi-lingual, with extensive multicultural commercial and social experience, having lived and worked in many countries around the world.

Tony Hobman Tony Hobman

Term: 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2017

Find out about Tony Hobman...

Tony Hobman joined us in January 2010. He has held a number of senior appointments within the financial services arena. He spent twenty years with Barclays Bank, holding a number of key roles in marketing, project and change management and customer services.

In 1996 he joined ProShare as Head of Investor Services and was promoted to Chief Executive in 1999. From 2000 to 2001 he was Chief Executive of Money Channel plc.

In 2002 he was appointed Chief Executive designate of the Pensions Regulator and in April 2005 he began work as the first Chief Executive of the Pensions Regulator, where he stayed until May 2010.

He was appointed as the first Chief Executive of the Money Advice Service, a newly created organisation to promote financial understanding, under the auspices of the Financial Services Authority, and took up post on 17 May 2010.

John Horam John Horam

Term: 1 October 2014 to 30 September 2018

Find out about John Horam...

John Horam has been a Minister in both Conservative and Labour Governments with responsibilities for Transport, Health, the Civil Service and Science and Technology. He was the Conservative MP for Orpington from 1992 to 2010, and was previously MP for Gateshead West (Labour, 1970 to 1981, SDP, 1981 to 1983). He has fought 10 general elections.

After 1997 he was the first Chair of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee, and then a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He is also one of the founders and now Non-Executive Director of a successful international company (CRU International) and the first Chair of the major housing association, Circle Thirty Three Housing Trust. Before that he was a leader and feature writer on the Financial Times and The Economist. He is a Fellow Commoner of St Catharine's College, Cambridge. On 4 September 2013 he was created a Life Peer, as Baron Horam, of Grimsargh in the County of Lancashire.

David Howarth David Howarth

Term: 1 October 2014 to 30 September 2018

Find out about David Howarth...

David Howarth was MP for Cambridge until 2010, having previously served as Leader of Cambridge City Council and as a local councillor for 17 years. He was Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Justice from 2008-10, and, previously, a member of the Commons' Constitutional Affairs and Justice select committees. He is University Reader in Private Law at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge and Associate Fellow of the Centre for Science and Policy at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. He is also a Trustee of the Collections Trust and an honorary Cambridge City councillor. He was also appointed, in March 2012, as a Member of Council of Advisers, Rand (Europe); a Member of the Advisory Board of Liberal Insight and to the Advisory Board of Women’s Parliamentary Radio.

Commissioner John McCormick John McCormick

Term: 19 January 2008 to 31 December 2010 (extended 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016)

Find out about John McCormick...

John McCormick is our Commissioner with responsibility for Scotland. He was Secretary of the BBC and subsequently Controller of BBC Scotland. He has been Chair of the Scottish Qualifications Authority and of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and is currently Vice-Chair of Scottish Opera, and a Director of the Irvine Bay Regeneration Company. Until November 2010 he was a non-executive director of Lloyds TSB Scotland.

He was a member of the Commission into Boundary Differences and Voting Systems. He has been awarded Honorary doctorates from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, and the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde and the West of Scotland. He is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Commissioner Alasdair Morgan Alasdair Morgan

Term: 12 May 2014 to 30 September 2016

Find out about Alasdair Morgan...

While pursuing his career in the IT industry, Alasdair Morgan held various senior positions within the Scottish National Party (National Treasurer, National Secretary etc.) until he was elected as SNP MP for Galloway & Upper Nithsdale from 1997 to 2001, where he served on the Trade & Industry Select Committee. He was an SNP member of the Scottish Parliament from 1999 until 2011, when he stood down. During his second four year term he was convener of his party’s parliamentary group and then its chief whip, and in his last term he was one of the Deputy Presiding Officers of the Parliament and leader of the Parliament’s delegation to the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly. He remains a trustee of the Scottish Parliamentary Pension Fund.

Commissioner Bridget Prentice Bridget Prentice

Term: 12 May 2014 to 30 September 2018

Find out about Bridget Prentice...

Bridget Prentice served 18 years as MP for Lewisham East, was a Government Whip and a Minister in the Ministry of Justice with responsibility for electoral administration amongst other policy areas. She is presently a Trustee on the Jimmy Mizen Foundation and on Age Exchange, the Chair of Governors of Trinity Lewisham School and a Pampered Chef Consultant. She continues to advise public and private sector bodies on matters to do with government.

Commissioner Rob Vincent, CBE Rob Vincent, CBE

Term: 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2020

Find out about Rob Vincent, CBE...

Rob Vincent served as Chief Executive of Kirklees Council from 2004 until 2010 and was a non-executive Director of DCLG from 2008-2010. Between 2010 and 2012 Mr Vincent led the intervention into Doncaster Council, at the request of the Secretary of State. Most recently he has acted as an adviser to the Department of Health on the transition of the public health function from the NHS to local government.

Code of conduct for Commissioners

Our code of conduct for Commissioners provides clear guidance on the behaviour expected of an Electoral Commissioner.

Who we are