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Board and Chief Executive

The Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 states that IPSA is governed by its Board, which consists of a Chair and four members. The Act ensures that:

  • one member must be a person who has held high judicial office;
  • one member must be a person who is a qualified auditor; and
  • one member must be a former MP.

Members of IPSA's Board are appointed for fixed terms of up to five years, and may be reappointed for a further term of up to three years. The appointment of Board members is prescribed by Schedule 1 of the Parliamentary Standards Act.

On a day-to-day basis, IPSA is run by its Chief Executive and Directors, who report to the Board. You can find more information about IPSA's staff here.

Ruth Evans, IPSA Chair

Photograph: Eddie Mulholland - The Telegraph © Telegraph Media Group Limited

Ruth Evans has a thirty-five year track record representing the consumer and public interest across a wide range of industries, serving as:

  • Chair and Deputy Chair of a range of regulatory boards (Authority for Television on Demand, Bar Standards Board, Ofcom Consumer Panel and the General Medical Council’s Standards Committee);
  • Chair of two independent Inquiries (the Brompton and Harefield Inquiries into Baby Deaths, and the Independent Inquiry into Drug Testing at Work);
  • Non-executive director of four financial services businesses;
  • Leader of three charities (War on Want, MIND and Maternity Alliance); and
  • Chief executive and Accounting Officer of the National Consumer Council, a public body, for 7 years.

Ruth is currently also the Chair of the Payments Strategy Forum, established by the Payments Systems Regulator to bring together the payments industry and representatives of all those that use payment services to deliver a collaborative strategy for competition and innovation. She is also a Non-Executive Director of the Serious Fraud Office.

Previously, she has been a non-executive director at the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the National Audit Office, Queen’s Counsel Appointments Panel, the Nationwide Building Society and Liverpool Victoria Group and Senior Independent Director of CPP Group PLC. She also is a Founding Advisor to a new start up, Farewill, a flagship online business that revolutionises the way we make wills.

Ruth began her professional life in charities, volunteering for Liberty after graduation before being appointed at 22 as the first director to a newly established coalition of charities, the Maternity Alliance. Following that, Ruth joined Mind as Deputy Director, then Acting Director, before taking over as Chief Executive of War on Want where, upon arrival, she discovered the charity was insolvent, and took it into receivership. From there she went on to run the National Consumer Council for three terms of office.

Register of Interests: Ruth Evans [PDF]

Will Lifford, Board Member

Liz Padmore

Will Lifford is a Yorkshire based chartered accountant, and a former Head of Audit at Grant Thornton. Since retiring, he has held a number of non executive and trustee roles in the public and not-for-profit sectors.

He has been a non executive director of Entrust, the regulator of the Landfill Communities Fund, and chair of Martin House Children's Hospice. He is currently an independent member of the Agricultural & Horticultural Development Board, and chair of Yorkshire Housing, a social housing provider.

Register of Interests: Will Lifford [PDF]

Sir Robert Owen, Board Member

Sir Robert Owen was called to the bar at Inner Temple in 1968 and was elected as an Inner Temple bencher in 1995. He was appointed a Recorder in 1987, Queen's Counsel in 1988 and a Deputy High Court Judge in 1994. He has previously served as Chairman of the London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association and the General Council of the Bar. He was named an associate fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1998, and served as a governor of the College of Law from 1998 to 2004.

He was appointed a Justice of the High Court on 15 January 2001, received his knighthood, and was assigned to the Queen's Bench Division. From 2005 to 2008, he served as a presiding judge for the Western Circuit, and has been a member of the Judicial College board since 2011.

As the member of IPSA’s board who has previously held high judicial office, Sir Robert is also IPSA’s designated ‘Qualified Person’ for the purposes of Freedom of Information.

Register of Interests: Sir Robert Owen

Jenny Willott, Board Member

Jenny WillottJenny Willott was the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Cardiff Central from 2005 to 2015.

Jenny was Consumer Affairs and Employment Relations Minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Women and Equalities Minister from 2013 to 2014, and a Government Whip from 2012 to 2014. She was the first female Lib Dem ever to attend Cabinet when she was promoted in 2014. She was sworn of the Privy Council the same year.

Jenny served as a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee and the Public Administration Select Committee from 2005 to 2010, and was Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, as well as Shadow Minister for Justice, for the Cabinet Office and for Youth Affairs during the same Parliament. She was a member of the Editorial Board of the House Magazine for 7 years and a member of the Fellowship Committee of the Industry and Parliament Trust from 2013.

Prior to election to Parliament, Jenny worked in the voluntary sector, both in international development for charities like UNICEF UK and Adithi, based in Northern India, and for domestic charities such as Barnardo’s and then as Chief Executive of Victim Support South Wales, a role she held immediately before her election to Parliament in 2005. Since 2015, Jenny has been working for Westminster Explained and St Mary’s University in Twickenham.

Register of Interests: Jenny Willott

Marcial Boo, Chief Executive

Marcial Boo joined IPSA in June 2014. He has held senior positions across the public sector, including as a director for eight years at the National Audit Office and the Audit Commission.

He has also worked as a senior civil servant at both the Home Office, where he led work on counter terrorism and reducing street crime, and at the Department for Education where he created the government’s adult basic skills strategy, Skills for Life.


Register of Interests: Marcial Boo

Previous Board members 

  • Jackie Smith (2018)
  • Elizabeth Padmore (2013-2018)
  • Anne Whitaker (2013-2018)
  • Professor Sir Ian Kennedy (Chair, 2009-2016)
  • Rt Hon John Thurso (2016)
  • Sir Neil Butterfield (2013-2016)
  • Tony Wright (2013-2016)
  • Ken Olisa (2010-2013)
  • Jackie Ballard (2010-2013)
  • Rt Hon Scott Baker (2010-2013)
  • Professor Isobel Sharp (2010-2013)