SPG Annual Weekend 2021: The impact of Covid-19 on parliaments – reflections drawing from the SPG publication

Saturday 11:15 – 12:15
  • Emily Commander (former Commons Clerk);
  • Mark Egan (Greffier in Jersey and former Commons Clerk);

Chair: Paul Evans CBE (former Commons Clerk)


Panellist Biographies

Emily Commander (former Commons Clerk)

Emily Commander joined the University of Bath as Head of Strategic Governance on 19 August. The post supports the Council of the University in promoting governance best practice and developing a culture of openness and transparency. Emily has a range of experience in governance with over 15 years in Parliament, including roles with the Select Committees for Public Administration and Culture, Media and Sport, and as Deputy Head (Legislation) in the Scrutiny Unit in the House of Commons. She has also built up international governance experience over five years with the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments in Geneva, which researches improvements to parliamentary law, procedure and practice as part of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the global organisation of national parliaments.


Mark Egan (Greffier in Jersey and former Commons Clerk)

Mark Egan is Greffier of the States of Jersey. He was a House of Commons Clerk from 1997 to 2015. His DPhil thesis was on the grass-roots organisation of the Liberal Party 1945–64 and was published in 2009 as Coming into Focus: The Transformation of the Liberal Party 1945–64. He has written extensively in the Journal of Liberal History (often under the name Robert Ingham) and has contributed numerous entries in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography under that name. He co-edited the Dictionary of Liberal Biography (1998), Great Liberal Speeches (2001), Peace, Reform and Liberation: A History of Liberal Politics in Britain 1679–2011 (2011) and British Liberal Leaders (2015). Editor of the Journal of the Durham County Local History Society, he has also contributed entries for the History of Parliament 1832–68 on South Shields and Liverpool, and is currently working on New Ross. In a professional capacity, Mark contributed to the last two editions of Erskine May’s Parliamentary Practice and the seventh edition of How Parliament Works by Lord Lisvane and Rhodri Walters.


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. 


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