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Reform debate biographies



Lord Norton

Lord Norton of Louth, is Professor of Government and Director of the Centre for Legislative Studies at the University of Hull. Lord Norton has published an abundance of books, articles and papers throughout his career and is an expert on British politics, constitutional affairs, legislatures and the Conservative Party. In 2000 he chaired a commission for William Hague to design ideas for the strengthening of the institution of Parliament, and from 2001 to 2004 he served as the chairman of the House of Lords Constitution Committee. He has made a number of television appearances and has taken part in BBC debates on electoral reform.


The Bow Group

The Bow Group is one of the oldest think tanks in the United Kingdom. Taking its name from the Bow area of London where it first met, it was founded in 1951. It holds no corporate view, and is thus open to all strands of conservative thought. Annesley Abercorn is Chairman of the Bow Group and an advisor to the Rt Hon Oliver Letwin on the policy making process in the Conservative Party. He stood as the Conservative candidate in Hazel Grove at the last election.

Electoral Reform Society

The Electoral Reform Society was formed in 1884 as the Proportional Representation Society (the present name was adopted in 1958). They campaigned for the introduction of the Single Transferable Vote in the Reform Bill of 1884. The minority Labour Government of 1930 introduced an Alternative Vote Bill but the Bill fell with the fall of the Government. Today the Society campaigns to ensure all votes have equal value. Dr Ken Ritchie has been Chief Executive of the Society for almost thirteen years. He has held senior and board positions in a number of charities, including War on Want and Oxfam.

Dr Simon Usherwood

Dr Simon Usherwood is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics at the University of Surrey. He studied at the London School of Economics and the College d’Europe, Bruges, developing a strong interest in European politics. He has published extensively and presented papers in Europe and Internationally. He is well versed in different voting systems and their effects on political structures and outcomes.

Norma Corkish, Debate Chair

Norma has worked in the charitable sector for over 30 years, about 18 years as a Chief Executive of a medium-sized parent-led organisation. She now undertakes consultancy and training via the Charities Aid Foundation and Voluntary Services Overseas. Norma is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Citizens Advice Waverley and a trustee of the New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham.

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