SPG Annual Weekend 2021: Regulating MPs

Friday 11:15 – 12:15
  • Marcial Boo (former head of IPSA);
  • Oonagh Gay OBE (former Commons Library Clerk);
  • Professor Mark Philp (Chair of the Research Advisory Board to the Committee on Standards in Public Life)

Chair: Dr Hannah White OBE (Deputy Director, Institute for Government)


Panellist biographies

Marcial Boo (former head of IPSA)

Marcial is Chief Executive of IPSA, the MPs’ pay and expenses watchdog. He was previously a director at the National Audit Office and senior civil servant at the Home Office, Department of Education and Audit Commission. He was an advisor to Tony Blair at the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. Marcial has written about public sector management (The Public Sector Fox), and a children’s picture book (The Butterfly Kiss). He founded and chairs two tourism charities: the Crab and Winkle Line Trust, and Tour de Coast. For eight years, Marcial was a trustee and Deputy Chair of the Young Foundation.


Oonagh Gay OBE (former Commons Library Clerk)

Oonagh Gay, OBE, worked in the House of Commons Library for 30 years, until her retirement in 2015. She was Head of the Parliament and Constitution Centre and is a former Chair of the Study of Parliament Group. She has written extensively on issues around parliamentary reform, parliamentary standards, electoral law, public administration and devolution. She was joint editor of Conduct Unbecoming: The Regulation of Parliamentary Behaviour (London, Politicos, 2004).


Professor Mark Philp (Chair of the Research Advisory Board to the Committee on Standards in Public Life)

Mark Philp is Professor of History and Politics, University of Warwick. He chairs the Research Advisory Board to the Committee on Standards in Public Life and has contributed to enquiries conducted by the Committee. His own research includes work in the history of political thought, social and cultural history from 1750-1850, and political theory and political sociology, most recently on justice in relation to ageing, political corruption and issues relating to standards in public life. He is currently working on issues relating to familial justice and ageing, political conduct and corruption, the re-imagining of democracy at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries in Latin America.


Dr Hannah White OBE (Deputy Director, Institute for Government)

Dr Hannah White has strategic oversight of the Institute for Government’s programme of work on government, parliament and the civil service, focusing on external relationships and impact.

She has extensive knowledge of Westminster and Whitehall based on over a decade of experience in parliament and the civil service. Before running the Committee on Standards in Public Life in the Cabinet Office, she was a clerk in the House of Commons managing select and legislative committees and advising on parliamentary procedure.

She received an OBE in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to the Constitution. Hannah is a regular commentator for radio and television and has appeared on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, Radio 4’s Westminster Hour, World at One, the Today programme, Newsnight, BBC News and Sky News. She is a frequent contributor to the Institute’s comment pages and also writes for a range of media including The GuardianThe TimesThe Telegraph and Prospect magazine.


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