New Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission appointed

The new Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission

Claire Bassett, Chief Executive of the Parole Board for England and Wales since April 2012, has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission.

Prior to the Parole Board, Claire was Chief Executive Officer of the Criminal Cases Review Commission - the body responsible for investigating miscarriages of justice - for two and a half years. She will take up her post in the autumn, and replaces Peter Wardle who is leaving the Commission at the end of this month.

Commenting on her appointment Claire Bassett said:

I am really pleased to have the opportunity to join the Electoral Commission at such an exciting time, and when its work is more important than ever. I am very much looking forward to meeting and working with my new colleagues and the Commission’s partners and stakeholders.

Jenny Watson, Chair of the Electoral Commission, said:

I am delighted that Claire has been appointed as the Commission’s new Chief Executive. We have an ambitious agenda over the next five years, and I know she will bring a wealth of experience to help us deliver our plans.

I would also like to take this opportunity to again thank Peter Wardle for his valuable contribution to the Commission over the past 10 years.


For further information contact the Electoral Commission press office:

  • 020 7271 0704 (Out of hours: 07789 920 414)

Extra notes

Notes to editors

  • The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. Our aim is integrity and public confidence in the UK’s democratic process. We regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections and are responsible for the conduct and regulations of referendum held under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (2000).
  • A short biography of Claire Bassett:
    • Claire has been Chief Executive of the Parole Board for England and Wales since April 2012. Prior to that she was CEO of the Criminal Cases Review Commission - the body responsible for investigating miscarriages of justice - for two and a half years, and before that with Nacro - the crime reduction charity - for three years. At Nacro she was the director responsible for its service provision, and CEO of its housing association, NCE.
    • Claire began her career as a management trainee in the construction industry moving from there to the Legal Services Commission and then to Connexions Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire where she was CEO.
    • Claire is on the board of the Association of Chief Executives and a Non-executive Director of Homegroup, a large, national housing association based in Newcastle.
    • In the interim the Commissions’ Deputy Chief Executive, Carolyn Hughes, will act as Chief Executive.