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.

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Sir David Beamish

David's career in the House of Lords spanned more than 40 years. It hass included stints as private secretary to the Leader of the House of Lords and Chief Whip, and six years as Clerk of the Parliaments.

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Alan Cogbill

Alan is a retired senior civil servant with experience in the Home Office, Lord Chancellor's Department and Department for Constitutional Affairs. He is former head of the Wales Office and former Chief Executive of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

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. 

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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 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.

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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 Senior Research Fellow in Parliaments and the Rule of Law at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law.


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Brian Walker

Brian was the BBC's Political Editor Northern Ireland and a lobby correspondent and Editor of Political and Parliamentary Programmes at Westminster.

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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. 


Sarah Allan
Sarah Allan

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