Jennifer Watson CBE (born 25 January 1964),better known as Jenny Watson, is the former chairperson of the United Kingdom Electoral Commission. A long term campaigner for women's rights, she had a 20+ year career in the not for profit sector. She started out at Liberty, and then political campaigners Charter88, before moving to Victim Support. She is a former Chair of the Fawcett Society, a not-for-profit organisation campaigning for equality between women and men.
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.
The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
The Electoral Commission is the election commission of the United Kingdom. It is an independent body, and was set up in 2001 by the British Parliament. It regulates party and election finance and sets standards for how elections should be run.
Watson was the last chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission before the creation of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights,having been first appointed as a commissioner in 1999, and deputy chair from 2000. She was deputy chairman of the Banking Code Standards Board, and of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management.
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) was an independent non-departmental public body, (NDPB) in the United Kingdom, which tackled sex discrimination and promoted gender equality. Its last chair was Jenny Watson.
The Banking Code was a voluntary code of practice agreed by banks in certain countries. The code typically described how a banks dealt with accepting deposits and withdrawals and with customer disputes on transactions. Banking codes have in most countries been replaced by government imposed financial regulation governing banking practices.
Watson is a director of Global Partners and Associates. She is a member of the Advertising Standards Authority's advertising advisory committee, and sits on the Council of the Women's Library at London Metropolitan University. She currently sits on the board of the Audit Commission, but her tenure will not be renewed.She is a trustee of the Charities Aid Foundation, a non-executive director of the Waste & Resources Action Programme, and a trustee of the Money Advice Trust.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the self-regulatory organisation of the advertising industry in the United Kingdom. The ASA is a non-statutory organisation and so cannot interpret or enforce legislation. However, its code of advertising practice broadly reflects legislation in many instances. The ASA is not funded by the British government, but by a levy on the advertising industry.
London Metropolitan University, commonly known as London Met, is a public research university in London, England. The University of North London and London Guildhall University merged in 2002 to create the university. With roots going back to 1848, it is one of London's oldest educational institutions.
The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is a registered UK charity. CAF provides services and assistance to UK and international charities and their donors, and promotes general donation to charities. Its head office is located in the Kings Hill business park, West Malling, Kent with a second office in London on St Bride Street, EC4A 4AD.
Watson was appointed the second chair of the Electoral Commission in January 2009.She is paid £100,000 for a role which requires her to work three days a week. Watson remained chair of the electoral commission amidst criticism of her management of the 2010 United Kingdom general election, when she defended herself on the grounds that the Electoral Commission had few powers over returning officers. Since then, the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 has increased the Commission's authority with regard to referendums. She formally announced the results of the Welsh devolution referendum "in both English and Welsh with perfect pronunciation". Just two months later, she acted as Chief Counting Officer (CCO) in the 2011 AV Referendum and also acted in the same capacity in the 2016 EU Referendum. In doing so, she became the first person to oversee two UK-wide referendums as Chief Counting Officer.
The 2010 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 6 May 2010, with 45,597,461 registered voters entitled to vote to elect members to the House of Commons. The election took place in 650 constituencies across the United Kingdom under the first-past-the-post system. None of the parties achieved the 326 seats needed for an overall majority. The Conservative Party, led by David Cameron, won the largest number of votes and seats, but still fell 20 seats short. This resulted in a hung parliament where no party was able to command a majority in the House of Commons. This was only the second general election since the Second World War to return a hung parliament, the first being the February 1974 election. Unlike in 1974, the potential for a hung parliament had this time been widely considered and predicted, and both the country and politicians were better prepared for the constitutional process that would follow such a result. The coalition government that was subsequently formed was the first coalition in British history to eventuate directly from an election outcome. The hung parliament came about in spite of the Conservatives managing both a higher vote total and higher share of the vote than the previous Labour government had done in 2005, when it secured a comfortable majority.
In various parliamentary systems, a returning officer is responsible for overseeing elections in one or more constituencies.
The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011(c. 1) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that made provision for the holding of a referendum on whether to introduce the Alternative Vote system in all future general elections to the UK Parliament and also made provision on the number and size of Parliamentary Constituencies. The Bill for the Act was introduced to the House of Commons on 22 July 2010 and passed third reading on 2 November by 321 votes to 264. The House of Lords passed the Bill, with amendments, on 14 February 2011, and after some compromises between the two Houses on amendments, it received Royal Assent on 16 February.
Watson was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to electoral democracy.
The 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours are appointments by some of the 16 Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries. The Birthday Honours are awarded as part of the Queen's Official Birthday celebrations during the month of June. The Queen's Birthday Honours for the United Kingdom were announced on 16 June; the honours for New Zealand were announced on 5 June and for Australia on 12 June.
Harriet Ruth Harman is a British solicitor and Labour Party politician who has served as a Member of Parliament since 1982, first for Peckham, and then for its successor constituency of Camberwell and Peckham since 1997. She has served in various Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet positions and, in her role as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, she has served as the Acting Leader of the Labour Party twice and Leader of the Opposition: from May to September 2010 and from May to September 2015.
Dorothea Glenys Thornton, Baroness Thornton, known as Glenys Thornton, is a Labour and Co-operative member of the House of Lords. She was previously Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health.
The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) is a political pressure group based in the United Kingdom which promotes electoral reform. It seeks to replace the first-past-the-post voting system with one of proportional representation, advocating the single transferable vote. It is the world's oldest operating organisation concerned with political and electoral reform.
James Samuel Younger is a British media and charity manager.
Angela Margaret Mason CBE is a British civil servant and activist, and a former director of the UK-based lesbian, gay and bisexual lobbying organisation Stonewall. She is currently the Chair of the Fawcett Society, a UK women's rights campaigning organisation and a Labour Party councillor in Camden.
Linda Ann Bellos OBE is a British businesswoman, radical feminist and gay-rights activist. In 1981 she became the first black woman to join the Spare Rib collective. She was elected to Lambeth Borough Council in London in 1985 and was the leader of the council from 1986 to 1988.
Dame Anne Elizabeth Owers, was Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons. Owers was the fifth holder of the post, appointed in August 2001, succeeding David Ramsbotham. Her appointment was renewed in June 2006 and in March 2008. She was appointed as the first National chair the Independent Monitoring Boards in October 2017. She was chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and prior to this, she directed JUSTICE, the UK-based human rights and law reform organisation.
The Welsh devolution referendum on law-making powers, also known as the Referendum on the law-making powers of the National Assembly for Wales, was a non-binding referendum held in Wales on 3 March 2011 on whether the Welsh Assembly should have full law making powers in the twenty subject areas where it has jurisdiction. The referendum asked the question: ‘Do you want the Assembly now to be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for?’
The United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum, also known as the UK-wide referendum on the Parliamentary voting system was held on Thursday 5 May 2011 in the United Kingdom (UK) to choose the method of electing MPs at subsequent general elections. It occurred as part of the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition Agreement drawn up after the 2010 general election which had resulted in the first hung parliament since February 1974 and also indirectly in the aftermath of the 2009 expenses scandal. It operated under the provisions of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 and was the first national referendum to be held under provisions laid out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
YES! To Fairer Votes was a political campaign in the United Kingdom whose purpose was to persuade the public to vote in favour of the Alternative Vote (AV) in the referendum on Thursday, 5 May 2011. YES! To Fairer Votes was unsuccessful in changing the voting system, with 32.1% of votes cast in favour. It was opposed by the anti-reform campaign No to AV.
In the United Kingdom, the Alternative Vote referendum also known as the UK-wide referendum on the Parliamentary voting system was a referendum that took place on 5 May 2011, on whether to change the system for electing the House of Commons, the lower house of the national Parliament at Westminster. In the result of a Yes vote, future United Kingdom general elections would have used the "Alternative Vote" (AV); in the event of a No vote, the voting system would remain the same, with the UK continuing to use the "First Past the Post" (FPTP) voting system. The votes cast in the referendum were first counted in each of 440 districts or electoral divisions across the country, which were then combined and declared at a regional level.
Katie Sushila Ratna Ghose is a British campaigner and lawyer. She has served as Chief Executive of the Women's Aid Federation of England and the Electoral Reform Society.
Matthew Jim Elliott FRSA is a British political strategist and lobbyist who has served as the Chief executive of a number of organisations and been involved in various successful referendum campaigns, including Vote Leave.
Nosheena Shaheen Mobarik, Baroness Mobarik, is a British Conservative Member of European Parliament for Scotland and Life Peer.
The European Union Referendum Act 2015(c. 36) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that made legal provision for a pre-legislative referendum to be held in the United Kingdom and Gibraltar, on whether it should remain a member state of the European Union or leave it. The bill was introduced to the House of Commons by Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary on 28 May 2015. Two weeks later, the second reading of the Act was supported by MPs from all parties except the SNP; the Act subsequently passed on its third reading in the Commons on 7 September 2015 and was approved by the House of Lords on 14 December 2015, and given Royal Assent on 17 December 2015 and came partly into force on the same day and came into full legal force on 1 February 2016.
The United Kingdom European Union membership referendum took place in the United Kingdom and Gibraltar on 23 June 2016. Membership of the European Union has been a topic of debate in the United Kingdom since the country joined the European Communities in 1973. This referendum was conducted very differently from the European Communities membership referendum in 1975; a more localised and regionalised counting procedure was used, and the ballot was overseen by the Electoral Commission, a public body which did not exist at the time of the first vote. This article lists, by voting area for Great Britain and Gibraltar and by parliamentary constituency for Northern Ireland, all the results of the referendum, each ordered into national and regional sections.
Caroline Gillian Gooding was a British solicitor and activist for individuals with disabilities. She took up activism after having a stroke while in her early 20s. Gooding directed her efforts to publishing literature advocating a human rights-based approach to disability, advising, assisting and leading governmental disability commissions, and drafting government legislation to improve the status of disabled individuals, such as the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and the Equality Act 2010. The Caroline Gooding Memorial Lecture is named after the activist.
| Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission |
| Chair of the Electoral Commission |