Our Council

The Council is the board of the Society, with ultimate responsibility for its governance and administration.

The Council consists of 15 members, 12 elected every other year by the membership using the Single Transferable Vote. Up to three members of the council can then be co-opted. The current Council was elected in 2021.

Council Members are the legal Directors of the company, with collective responsibility for ensuring that the organisation is legally compliant. The Council, in conjunction with senior staff, sets the Society’s strategic direction, ensures accountability for the Society’s performance and that the Society’s financial affairs are managed with probity and integrity.

Members of the Council elect three of their group to act as Officers and one to act as the Chair.

About the council

The Council is the Electoral Reform Society’s governing body.

The Council meets four times a year. It is made up of 12 members who are elected every other year and serve for a two-year term. All fully paid-up members are allowed to stand for election and to vote. A further three can be co-opted on to the council.

What do Council members do?

Council provides creative challenge and independent scrutiny on issues such as strategy, planning and business performance and it works with the senior staff team to ensure that high standards of governance are upheld.

The Council meets 4 times a year in central London (expenses are reimbursed). Members of the Council are also the Directors of the company, with collective responsibility for ensuring that the organisation is legally compliant. The Council:

  • Establishes the Society’s strategic direction and aims, in conjunction with the senior staff;
  • Ensures accountability for the Society’s performance;
  • Ensures that the Society is managed with probity and integrity.

How do Council members get elected?

There are 12 places on the Council, and elections take place every two years with all seats on the Council up for election. Candidates are voted in by the Single Transferable Vote (STV) method.

Why get involved?

Council members have a central role to play in deciding the key priorities for the Society.

It’s an important job and we need members with the right balance of ideas, skills, and experience. This is a special opportunity – available only to members – to help shape the Society’s agenda and to inject energy and enthusiasm into the job of building a better democracy in Britain.

What skills and experience do I need?

Council members can bring invaluable experience and perspectives from all walks of life.

As the governing body of a rapidly expanding national campaign and research organisation, the Council needs active and engaged members – particularly those with some of the following attributes:

  • Accountancy or financial management skills
  • Experience of leading or working on high-profile campaigns
  • Experience of working in politics
  • Media, press or marketing experience
  • Knowledge, understanding and commitment to the not-for-profit sector
  • Experience of a governance role
  • Strategic vision and sound, independent judgement
  • Human resources qualifications and/or experience at a senior level
  • Experience in business development and/or fundraising

The Electoral Reform Society Council

Ruth KellyRuth Kelly

Ruth works at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford. She supports the Symposium on Strength and Solidarity, which aims to build resilience in human rights organisations globally. Since 2016, she has been working with artists and activists in Bangladesh and Uganda, exploring how art and storytelling can help people reimagine justice. Before that, she spent five years helping campaigners make sense of international trade and tax rules and supporting campaigning to change them. She has experience working on high-profile campaigns for Oxfam and ActionAid, including raising money for public campaigning and research projects. She’s keen to see a much wider range of people having real influence in UK politics, especially as the country moves towards a new political setup.

Jon WalshJon Walsh
Vice-Chair Management

Jon has experience as a constituency organiser and National Campaigns Officer for the Liberal Democrats. His experience has seen him working on and running campaigns across the country and in most types of election currently held in Britain including managing London for the Yes to AV campaign.

In addition to the Council, Jon works in Public Affairs for the University of Southampton.

Lynn HendersonLynn Henderson
Deputy Chair Campaigns

Lynn is a senior national officer at the Public and Commercial Services Union, the UK’s largest trade union for government workers where she heads up the Organising, Campaigning, Equalities and Learning teams.  Lynn also chairs Politics for the Many – the trade union campaign for electoral reform and is the chair of the project board of the Jimmy Reid Foundation, a think tank for radical political thinking, based in Scotland.

Andrew CopsonAndrew Copson

Andrew has worked for Oxford University Student Union, Citizenship Foundation and Humanists UK, where he has been Chief Executive since 2010 and has wide experience as a member of nonprofit Boards in the education, human rights and other sectors. ERS was the first organisation he ever joined, having had an interest in electoral reform since his school days, bunking off to stay home and watch the live report of the Jenkins Commission.

Kezia Dugdale

Kezia is a Professor of Practice at the University of Glasgow and Director of the John Smith Centre, a non-partisan organisation which exists to make the positive case for politics and public service through the promotion of civilised debate and high-quality research. It also seeks to support people with the talent – but not the means – to access politics and public life.

Before joining the Centre, Kezia was a Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Lothians region for eight years, during which she led her party through four national elections and the EU referendum. Beyond her working life, she is on the board of social transformation charity Sistema Scotland and the housing charity Shelter UK and the Oversight Board of The Promise, an organisation driving change for care-experienced young people.

Christopher GrahamChristopher Graham

Christopher served as UK Information Commissioner from 2009 to 2016. From 2000 to 2009, he was Director-General of the Advertising Standards Authority, and Chair of the European Advertising Standards Alliance, 2003 – 2005. Non-Executive Director of Electoral Reform Services Ltd (2002 – 2009) and Senior NED from 2017 until the sale of the business in 2018.

Chris joined to BBC as a News Trainee in 1973 and worked in News and Current Affairs in both Radio and TV. He was Managing Editor, News Programmes, 1992 – 4, and served as BBC Secretary, 1996 – 1999. He was elected to Liverpool City Council at the age of 21 and twice stood for Parliament. He was founding chair of Capacity: The Public Services Lab LLP, 2016 – 2019.

David GreenDavid Green

Retired from branch banking, David has been involved with the electoral reform movement since the early 70s. He is an independent-minded liberal and runs the supervote.org.uk website which sets out the case for electoral reform from a unique viewpoint and promotes STV as “Voter PR” as distinct from party PR systems. He can be contacted by email via david.green@supervote.org.uk

Kirsten de KeyserKirsten de Keyser

Proportionality in any form of election process is fundamental to fairness. And fairness is fundamental to a healthy society. That’s why the Electoral Reform Society essentially holds the key to our future as a progressive, democratic country.

As a television producer of several decades, I have a good grasp of how to get our message onto the media agenda. As a Dane, to me, PR is simply how voting is done. As a Green Party activist and candidate, I campaign hard for root and branch reform of our parliamentary system. My efforts will be even more effective as a member of the ERS council.

Pablo JohnPablo John

Pablo works as a Policy Analyst at the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA). Before that he spent several years working in frontline politics. This included working for Alex Sobel MP (chair of the electoral reform APPG) in the House of Commons and as a Labour Party organiser in the 2019 Election. He has experience working on high profile campaigns including the 2016 Referendum and West Yorkshire Mayor Election.

He’s keen to see greater representation for rural voters and younger urban voters, both trapped in safe seats. He also hopes electoral reform can push issues of climate and sustainability further up the political agenda.

Amy DoddAmy Dodd

Amy previously served on the Council and was chair of the Electoral Reform Society from 2012-2016. She has worked in politics on everything from local election campaigns to national referendums, including helping to lead the Labour Yes to AV campaign. Amy has also worked for many years in international development, focusing on how to mobilise the resources needed to finance a fairer, greener and better future for all. Her experience includes leading a policy and advocacy network of UK organisations advocating for more and better aid, in think tanks and, currently, as Global Policy Director for development economics at the ONE Campaign.

Sandy MartinSandy Martin

Sandy is a Suffolk County Councillor where he is Labour spokesperson for transport and the environment.  He is also Chair of the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform and a member of the Socialist Environment and Resources Association Executive.  He served as MP for Ipswich 2017-2019 and Shadow Minister for Waste & Recycling 2018 – 2019.

Michael Meadowcroft

Michael Meadowcroft

Michael Meadowcroft chaired the Electoral Reform Society 1989-93 during which time he wrote The Politics of Electoral Reform for the Society.  He has been active in Liberal politics as a local, regional and national officer since 1958, also including as Leeds City Councillor, West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Councillor and as MP for Leeds West. Between 1988 and 2016 he led or was a member of over fifty electoral and governance missions to thirty-four new and emerging democracies on four continents. Numerous books, articles and lectures on politics, political history, Leeds local history – and jazz.

Stephen SadlerStephen Sadler

Stephen is a chartered accountant and has held various board-level positions in publicly listed and privately owned companies, mainly in the technology and property markets. He has extensive strategy and governance experience in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors.

Outside of work, Stephen is committed to providing opportunities for young people in sport and is a coach and Senior Independent Director at Wiltshire Cricket Ltd.

Shavanah TajShavanah Taj

Shavanah Taj is Wales TUC’s first BME General Secretary. She joined Wales TUC in February 2019 from the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), where she had been Welsh Secretary since 2013.  Shavanah is a graduate of the TUC Organising Academy 2002. Prior to this she worked in retail, call centres and the third sector. Shavanah is a passionate campaigner and activist for equity and social justice. She is a board member for the Bevan Foundation, the People’s Health Trust, patron of Show Racism the Red Card and member of the independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales. Shavanah is a visible advocate for workers’ rights, often appearing on TV, Press, giving advice and evidence to Welsh Ministers and Committees, contributing speeches at round table debates and protest marches. Key areas of expertise include worker voice, fair work, anti-racism, human rights, women’s rights and climate justice.

Richard WoodRichard Wood

Richard works for an MP, covering Political and Constitutional Reform, and is a member of the Liberal Democrats for Electoral Reform executive committee. Originally from Edinburgh, he runs Upgrade Holyrood, which is dedicated to improving democracy in Scotland, and regularly writes about political reform in outlets including Politics.co.uk. He also has experience with Make Votes Matter and previously worked in communications and media.