Commissioner Biographies

The Commission


Baroness (Ruth) Deech

Baroness Deech taught law for many years at Oxford University and elsewhere, has written extensively about family law, and was appointed an honorary King’s Counsel. She was Principal of St Anne’s College Oxford and a Pro Vice-Chancellor. She took on extensive regulatory roles including Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which oversees assisted reproduction; Chair of the Bar Standards Board, which sets standards of conduct for barristers and their training; and was the first Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, dealing with student complaints. She has also been a Governor of the BBC, a trustee of the Rhodes Scholarships and the Mandela-Rhodes Foundation and a Bencher of the Inner Temple. She was appointed DBE in 2003 and as a life peer in 2005. She sits on the crossbenches as an independent legislator and has chaired committees reporting on the retention of women doctors and on equality and disability.

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Political Members

Baroness (Sheila) Noakes (Conservative)

The Baroness Noakes DBE was made a life peer in 2000. In 2001, she served as the Opposition Spokesperson for Work and Pension and Health, in 2003 serving as the Opposition Spokesperson for The Treasury, before working on a number of Lords Committees. Prior to becoming a peer she served as a Partner at KPMG, Director of Finance of the NHS Management Executive and a member of the Court of the Bank of England (Director of the Bank of England). She currently sits on the House of Lords Financial Services Regulation Committee.


The Baroness Taylor of Bolton PC (Labour)

Baroness Taylor of Bolton was the first woman to serve as Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Privy Council in 1997. She went on to become the first woman to serve as Government Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury). Baroness Taylor is the former MP for Bolton West (1974 – 1983) and Dewsbury (1987 – 2005) and was made a Life Peer in 2005. She currently sits on the Industry Regulators Committee, Procedure and Privileges Committee, and the Lord Speaker’s Committee on the Size of the House.


Baroness Kate Parminter (Liberal Democrat)

Baroness Parminter was created a life peer in July 2010. She sits in the House of Lords on the Liberal Democrat benches and is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment. From 1990-1998 she headed the Public Affairs for the RSPCA, during which time she chaired the Campaign for the Protection of Hunted Animals which helped to ban hunting. In 1998 she became Chief Executive of CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England. From 2004-2010 she was a freelance consultant advising corporations and charities on charity, CSR and campaigning issues. She was a Liberal Democrat Councillor on Horsham District Council in West Sussex for eight years (1987-1995). Kate is a Patron of the Meath Epilepsy Trust in Godalming.

Photograph Portrait of Baroness Parminter

Independent Members

Rt Rev and Rt Hon the Lord Richard Chartres GCVO

Lord Chartres is a Crossbench Peer. He is the former Bishop of London and held a number of wider roles during that time, including as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Church Commissioners.

Photograph portrait of Lord Richard Chartres

The Lord-Lieutenant of Belfast, Mrs Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle CBE DL

Dame Fionnuala is the current Lord-Lieutenant of the Country Borough of Belfast, the Vice Chair of Northern Ireland Opera and she founded The Belfast Buildings Trust, Northern Ireland’s leading Regeneration charity. She has been involved in public and voluntary service for many years.

Photograph portrait of Mrs Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle

The Rt Hon Sir Hugh Robertson KCMG DL

Sir Hugh is Chair of Birmingham International Airport, Chair of the British Olympic Association and an Independent Non Executive at Deloitte. A former soldier, who subsequently worked at Schroders, he was a government minister from 2010 – 2015. He has just completed two full terms as Chair of the Sports Honours Committee and is a member of the Gentlemen at Arms in The Royal Household.

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Wayne Reynolds

Mr Reynolds is the founder and managing director of Birchwood Knight, an executive search company specialising in corporate affairs leadership roles.  He helps a wide range of organisations across the public and private sectors to run fair and thorough recruitment processes which promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

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