SPG Annual Weekend 2021: Analysing Englishness as a political force in the UK

Saturday 10:00 – 11:00
  • Prof Ailsa Henderson (Edinburgh University);
  • Respondent: Paul Evans CBE (former Commons Clerk);

Chair: Sir Paul Silk KCB


Panellist Biographies

Professor Ailsa Henderson (Edinburgh University)

Ailsa Henderson is Professor of Political Science at the University of Edinburgh. Originally from Windsor, Ontario, she has degrees from the Université d’Ottawa (BScSoc) and the University of Edinburgh (MSc, PhD) and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto.

She was an Assistant Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto before returning to the University of Edinburgh in 2007. From 2006-2007 she was the Working Groups Chair for the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform and is currently a member of the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland.


Paul Evans CBE (former Commons Clerk)

Paul Evans joined the House of Commons service in 1981. He retired in 2019 as Clerk of Committees, responsible for the management of the House of Commons Committee Office. His previous posts include Principal Clerk of Select Committees (2005–2011), Principal Clerk of the Table Office (2011–2014) and Clerk of the Journals (2014–2016). He has been Head of the Scrutiny Unit and Clerk of the Human Rights, Defence and Health select committees. Paul was Chair of the Study of Parliament Group from 2005–2007. In 2000, he was an adviser to the Hansard Society Commission on the Scrutiny Role of Parliament. He is a member of the Council of the Hansard Society and its academic governance committee. Paul has advised a number of Constitution Unit projects and is on the editorial board of Parliamentary Affairs. He is an honorary research associate of UCL and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and serves on the ESRC Grant Assessment Panel for politics and international relations. 


Sir Paul Silk KCB

Sir Evan Paul Silk KCB (born 8 February 1952) is a former clerk in the British House of Commons. He was Clerk to the National Assembly for Wales from March 2001 to January 2007, the most senior official of the Assembly, and acted as the principal adviser to the Presiding Officer, responsible for all the services that are delivered to Assembly Members through the Assembly Parliamentary Service. In 2011, he was appointed as chair of the Commission on Devolution in Wales. Sir Paul Silk is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Constitution Reform Group (CRG), a cross-party pressure group chaired by Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury, which seeks a new constitutional settlement in the UK by way of a new Act of Union.


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