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Jenny Watson

Volume 488: debated on Friday 6 March 2009

To ask the honourable Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what further information the Speaker's Committee has received about the outside interests of the chairman of the Electoral Commission. (261803)

During the debate on 17 December 2008 on the Motion to appoint Jenny Watson as chairman of the Electoral Commission, I informed the House that Ms Watson had agreed to give up all her other paid appointments, with the exception of her role as a member of the board of the Audit Commission. Ms Watson has subsequently informed the Speaker's Committee that she wishes to retain another of her paid appointments, as a non-executive director of the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP). WRAP is a publicly-funded company which works with businesses and consumers to encourage recycling.

The Speaker's Committee has considered Ms Watson's request and has concluded that there is no conflict of interest. Neither, in the Committee's judgment, does Ms Watson's retention of her two non-executive roles impinge on her ability to fulfil her commitment to work three days a week as chairman of the Electoral Commission. Ms Watson works three days a month for the Audit Commission and a further two days a month for WRAP.