The Constitution Unit


Honorary Staff

The Unit has a number of honorary researchers who pursue their own research and contribute to and advise on our activities. They are not based at the Unit, but can be contacted via the Office Manager.

Sarah Allan
Sarah Allan

Sarah is Head of Engagement at public participation charity Involve and is an Associate Member of the Centre for Democratic Engagement at the University of Leeds.

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Sir David Beamish

David's career in the House of Lords spanned more than 40 years. It included stints as Private Secretary to the Leader of the House of Lords and Chief Whip, and six years as Clerk of the Parliaments (i.e. the chamber's most senior official).

Marcial Boo
Marcial Boo

Marcial was chief executive of the MPs' spending watchdog IPSA from 2014 to 2020 and now leads the Unit’s study of Parliament’s watchdogs. Since joining us as an Honorary staff member, Marcial has been appointed chief executive officer of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Paul Evans
Paul Evans

Paul worked as a Clerk in the House of Commons from 1981 to 2019, retiring as Clerk of Committees responsible for the staff of the House’s select committees.

Daniel Gover
Daniel Gover

Daniel is a Lecturer in British Politics at Queen Mary University of London and a former researcher at the Unit. His research focuses particularly on the Westminster parliament.

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Lucinda Maer

Lucinda is Clerk of the Joint Committee on Human Rights. She was formerly the Head of the Parliament and Constitution Centre at the House of Commons Library. 

Bob Morris
Dr Robert Morris

Bob has previously worked as the Home Office Under Secretary responsible for Constitutional Affairs. He leads the Unit's work on the Church and State.

David Natzler
Sir David Natzler

David was Clerk of the House of Commons (i.e. the chamber's most senior official) from 2015 to 2019, after a career in the House of Commons service which started in 1975 and covered a wide variety of roles

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Dr Patrick O'Brien

Patrick is a lecturer in Public Law at Oxford Brookes University and former researcher at the Unit on judicial independence. 

Akash Paun
Akash Paun

Akash is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Government (IfG). He leads the Institute's devolution programme, with a current focus on the impact of Brexit on the Union and relations between the four nations of the UK.


Jill Rutter
Jill Rutter

Jill is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Government (IfG). Jill directed the IfG's work on better policy making and arm’s-length government, and Brexit. She is an experienced former senior civil servant, having worked in HM Treasury, Number 10 and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).


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Dr Mark Sandford

Mark is worked as Research and Evaluation Manager for the Electoral Commission before joining the House of Commons Library in 2008, where he is Senior Researcher specialising in local and regional government. Mark was previously a Research Fellow with the Constitution Unit. 


Dr Jack Simson Caird
Dr Jack Simson Caird

Jack is Assistant Counsel for the House of Commons Justice Committee.



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Alan Whysall

Alan was involved in the Northen Ireland Peace process over the past 20 years as a senior British civil servant in the Northern Ireland Office. 

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Dr Benjamin Yong

Ben is Associate Professor in Public Law and Human Rights at Durham University, and a former researcher at the Unit specialising in government.