Chief Executive of Electoral Commission appointed to lead new trade body

Protecting domestic industry from unfair trading after the UK leaves the European Union

Claire Bassett has been appointed to Department for International Trade (DIT) as the Chief Executive Designate of the future Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), which will be responsible for providing a safety net to protect domestic industry from unfair trading practices after the UK leaves the European Union.

Sir John Holmes, Chair of the Electoral Commission, said:

Claire has my warmest congratulations and best wishes for every success in this important new role. The last three years have presented an unprecedented range of complex challenges to the UK’s political finance regulator and to our democratic processes. During this time, Claire has worked tirelessly to pursue the interest of voters, to champion transparency and fairness and to ensure the effective delivery of the organisation’s remit. Her drive to make the Commission a dynamic and effective regulator has been clear throughout and will be her legacy. The Board and I thank her warmly for her work and commitment and wish her all the best for the future.

Claire Bassett said:

I am extremely proud of the work the Electoral Commission has done over the last three years. We have made important steps towards being a modern regulator and this has only been possible because of the skills and hard work of the team I have been privileged to lead. I will miss the Commission and all who work here but am confident I leave it in strong hands and ready to step into the next phase of its life. I am looking forward to taking the valuable lessons I have learnt to the Trade Remedies Authority.

Claire will leave the Commission at the end of the year. Bob Posner, currently Director of Political Finance and Regulation and Legal Counsel, will serve as interim chief executive until a permanent appointment is made.

Bob joined the Electoral Commission in 2007 and has extensive experience over many years in regulatory compliance and advising on public law. He was returning officer at a number of elections whilst working as a Director and Deputy Chief Executive in local government, is a Barrister, has a Master's degree in business management and is joint editor of Schofield's Election Law.

Sir John added:

I look forward to working with Bob. He will bring to this new role deep knowledge of the work of the Commission and strong commitment to serving the interests of voters. He will also provide important continuity while an appointment process is underway to find a permanent chief executive, to ensure that the delivery of the Commission’s key plans and priorities can continue at pace.


For more information contact the Electoral Commission press office:

For enquiries relating to the Department for International Trade and the Trade Remedies Authority contact their press office:

Extra notes

Notes to editors

  • The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. We work to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:
    • enabling the delivery of free and fair elections and referendums, focusing on the needs of electors and addressing the changing environment to ensure every vote remains secure and accessible
    • regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches
    • using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy,
    • aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency

    The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK and Scottish Parliaments.