13 July 1970
Shoreham by Sea, England
|Occupation||Lawyer, Chief Executive of Electoral Reform Society|
|Known for||Alternative Vote referendum|
Ghose was National Chair of the unsuccessful YES! to Fairer Votes campaign in the 2011 UK Alternative Vote referendum. She has served both as Director of the British Institute of Human Rights and as National Campaigns Manager for the charity Age Concern.
She has sought selection in several parliamentary seats for the Labour Party, with no success.
Personal life and education
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.
After leaving university, between 1992 to 1994 Ghose worked as a parliamentary researcher and senior caseworker to disgraced Labour MP Greville Janner. She then became Parliamentary Officer for the Citizens Advice Bureaux.
Ghose qualified and practised as a barrister 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.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.
2011 AV referendum
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 unsuccessful 'Yes! to Fairer Votes' campaign.
Following 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". A leading Liberal Democrat blogger has questioned why Ghose was still leading the Electoral Reform Society in the wake of the 2011 defeat. 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."
Political Activity and Ambitions
Ghose is a member of the Labour Party and has sought selection as a Parliamentary candidate. In 2013, she attempted to win selection for Brighton Kemptown. She then attempted to win selection for Stoke-on-Trent North, Great Grimsby and York Central, with no success.
Her four successive bids to seek Labour nomination in very geographically disparate parts of the country led to criticism from internet blogger Paul Staines who labeled her a "perennial carpetbagger".
- "ERS - meet our staff". Electoral Reform Society. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
- Back to Earth, Fabian Society, 2014
- [http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2011/05/bernard-jenkin-mp-no-more-concessions-to-clegg-no-more-appeasement-no-more-sell-outs.html − "Bernard Jenkin MP: No more concessions to Clegg. No more appeasement. No more sell outs"]. ConservativeHome. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- "Why should I listen to Katie Ghose?". MarkReckons. Retrieved 24 Aug 2011.
- James Graham, 'My 'yes' campaign hell', The Liberator The Liberator
- "Ghastly Ghose Hopes It’s Third Time Lucky". Guido Fawkes Blog. Retrieved 25 June 2014.