Katie Ghose

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Katie Ghose
Katie Ghose.jpg
Born Katie Ghose
(1970-07-13) 13 July 1970 (age 44)
Shoreham by Sea, England
Residence London
Alma mater Oxford
Occupation Lawyer, Chief Executive of Electoral Reform Society
Known for Alternative Vote referendum

Katie Sushila Ratna Ghose (born 13 July 1970)is a British campaigner and lawyer. She is the current Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society.[1]

Ghose was previously the National Chair of the YES! to Fairer Votes campaign in the 2011 UK Alternative Vote referendum. She has also served as Director of the British Institute of Human Rights and National Campaigns Manager for the charity Age Concern.

She has since sought selection as a Labour Party parliamentary candidate in several seats without success.

Personal life and education[edit]

Katie Ghose was born in Shoreham by Sea, Sussex, to an English mother and Indian father. She went to Boundstone Community College in Lancing.

Ghose read Law at Somerville College, Oxford. During her time at Oxford, she was Editor of the student newspaper Cherwell, and then studied for a Masters in Political Science at the University of California, Riverside.

Ghose has one daughter with her partner Andrew Harrop, the General Secretary of the Fabian Society.

Ghose lists her principal hobbies as hiking and dance.[2]


After leaving university, between 1992 to 1994 Ghose worked as a parliamentary researcher and senior caseworker to Labour MP Greville Janner. She then became Parliamentary Officer for the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Ghose qualified and practised as a barrister at 1 Pump Court Chambers between 1997 to 1999, specialising in immigration, family and Human Rights law.

Ghose has campaigned for several charitable and campaigning organisations, first with the Child Accident Prevention Trust, from 1999-2000. While there, she worked with English local authorities to promote child safety schemes. In 2000 Ghose joined Age Concern as their National Campaigns and Parliamentary Affairs Manager, leading campaigns to protect older workers from discrimination and to oppose unfair hospital charges. In 2005 she was appointed Director of the British Institute of Human Rights, providing charities, hospitals and care homes with practical support and training about human rights in England. Her first book Beyond the Courtroom: a lawyer’s guide to campaigning was published by the Legal Action Group in 2005.

Ghose has also served as a Commissioner on the Independent Asylum Commission from 2006-2008. She has been the Chair of two charities, Asylum Aid (1997-1999) and Bail for Immigration Detainees (2002-2004). She was a trustee and Company Secretary of Stonewall (2005-2011).

In her capacity as Electoral Reform Society Chief Executive Ghose has been a regular media commentator on elections and voter disengagement.[3]

2011 AV referendum[edit]

Ghose became Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society in the autumn of 2010, during which she worked for six months as Chair of the 'Yes! to Fairer Votes' campaign.

Following heavy defeat in the campaign, Ghose's performance as chair has drawn comment from across the political spectrum. Bernard Jenkin MP stated that because so many individuals surrounding the Yes2AV campaign were compromised by their previous positions on AV the campaign had opted for a "clean skin" who "previously had no campaign experience".[4] A leading Liberal Democrat blogger has questioned why Ghose was still leading the Electoral Reform Society in the wake of the 2011 defeat.[5] Another Liberal Democratic blogger wrote: "I would single out the new ERS chief executive Katie Ghose for praise; she was the only person with any actual authority in the campaign who seemed concerned about morale and improving communication. If she is given the opportunity, I am confident that she will go on to sort out many of the problems that have plagued ERS for over a decade."[6]

Political Activity and Ambitions[edit]

Ghose is a member of the Labour Party. Following the AV referndum she has been actively seeking selection as a Labour candidate.

Ghose entered the 2013 Labour Party selection process to be Parliamentary Candidate for the seat of Brighton Kemptown, coming second in a two candidate race . In April 2014, she come second out of three candidates in the selection to be the Labour candidate for Stoke-on-Trent North. In July 2014 she came second in the selection for the Labour nomination for Great Grimsby.

Her three successive bids to seek Labour nomination in geographically disparate parts of the country have prompted right wing bloggers to label her a "perennial carpetbagger".[7] She has received support and endorsements from figures across the Labour Party.

See also[edit]


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