Two new Electoral Commissioners approved

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Alasdair Morgan, a former SNP MP and MSP; and Bridget Prentice, a former Labour MP and Minister have been approved as new Commissioners for the Electoral Commission.

The UK Parliament approved a motion to appoint Mr Morgan and Ms Prentice, following a selection process overseen by the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission.

The motion passed by the House of Commons presents the new Commissioners for appointment by Her Majesty the Queen. It is anticipated that both Mr Morgan and Ms Prentice will begin their terms of office in April 2014.

Mr Morgan replaces the Right Honourable Sir George Reid who stepped down due to ill health. Mr Morgan was proposed by the SNP and his nomination was supported by Plaid Cymru.

Commenting on his appointment, Alasdair Morgan said: “I am very conscious of how much of a privilege it is to take over the position formerly occupied so ably by Sir George Reid.  I am also excited about being involved in the Electoral Commission at a time when Scotland is about to decide its future through the ballot box in the forthcoming referendum.”

Jenny Watson, Chair of the Electoral Commission, said: “I am delighted that Alasdair has been proposed as a new Commissioner. As a former Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Alasdair will bring a wealth of experience and insight to the Commission, particularly in the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum.”

Ms Prentice was nominated by the Labour Party. A former Elections Minister, she replaces Lord Roy Kennedy who stood down from his post to contest a seat at the May 2014 local elections.

Commenting on her appointment, Bridget Prentice said: “I am delighted and excited to be part of the Electoral Commission. I am looking forward to working closely with colleagues to ensure we make our democracy engaging and accessible.”

Jenny Watson, Chair of the Electoral Commission, said: “I am delighted that Bridget has been proposed as a new Commissioner. As a former Elections Minister in the last Government, Bridget will bring a wealth of first-hand political experience, particularly as the Commission looks ahead to how the electoral system can be modernised.”