New Chair appointed to Electoral Commission


John Pullinger CB has been appointed as the new Chair of the Electoral Commission. John is an experienced public servant who has held senior roles in a range of organisations in the UK and internationally. 

Until 2019, John was the UK’s National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority. He has served as President of the Royal Statistical Society, Chair of the United Nations Statistical Commission, and Librarian and Director General for Information Services at the House of Commons. 

His appointment was recommended by the Speaker’s Committee within the UK Parliament, and approved by the House of Commons on Monday. He is expected to take up the new role in May. 

John Pullinger said: 

“I am really pleased to be joining the Commission at such an important time. I look forward to building relationships with people across the United Kingdom to ensure that everybody involved in elections continues to have confidence that elections are freely and fairly run. Working together, I am confident that we can take the opportunity to modernise our electoral system to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing world in which we live.” 

Bob Posner, Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission said: 

“I look forward to welcoming John to his role as Chair of the Electoral Commission. He will bring a wealth of experience to our Board as we reflect on a complex set of Covid-secure elections, and continue to enhance the support we offer to voters and the electoral community. The next five years will also see the Commission support the UK’s three parliaments in delivering electoral reform.” 
The selection process for Commissioners is conducted by the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission within the UK Parliament. The proposed appointment will now be submitted for royal assent by Her Majesty the Queen. 


For more information contact the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704, out of office hours 07789 920 414 or

Notes to editors

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, Scottish and Welsh parliaments.

The selection process for Commissioners is conducted by the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission and is set out in law (Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000).

The Commission Board comprises:

  • a Chair
  • four Commissioners nominated by political parties represented in the House of Commons
  • three Commissioners appointed as leads for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • two other Commissioners

Members of the Commission Board are required to declare any interests which may represent a conflict with their role at the Commission, and must also follow our published Code of Conduct.

Recruitment is currently underway for a new Commissioner for Northern Ireland, after the term of Anna Carragher ended in December 2020.

Find out more about the Electoral Commission’s Board on our website.