As required under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, the Speaker’s Committee put in place and oversees the process for selecting candidates for appointment as electoral commissioners, including the chair. The Committee’s duty encompasses the recommendation of candidates for reappointment. There is no presumption in the statute either for or against reappointment. At its meeting on
I thank the hon. Gentleman for his response and I pass on my best wishes to Christian Matheson, who would normally be here but I think is unwell at the moment. I congratulate the Speaker’s Committee on what it has done; it has effectively fired the chairman of the Electoral Commission. Does Owen Thompson agree that one of the reasons for firing him was the fact that he oversaw the persecution of innocent people whose only so-called crime was wanting to take part in the democratic process and to ensure that the UK left the European Union?
He was not fired; he just was not reappointed.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Yes, it is not unusual for public appointments to end after one term. The Committee is grateful to Sir John for his four years of service in this very important role. The chair, and all commissioners who are appointed by Her Majesty the Queen following a recommendation from the House, work under a strict code of conduct during their time as commissioners. That requires and ensures impartiality and fairness, and is policed assiduously.