Katie Ghose

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Katie Ghose
Born Katie Ghose
Shoreham by Sea, England
Residence London
Alma mater Oxford
Occupation Chief Executive of Electoral Reform Society
Known for democracy campaigner

Katie Sushila Ratna Ghose is a British campaigner and lawyer. She is the current Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society.[1]

Ghose was previously Director of the British Institute of Human Rights and before that worked as a barrister and for a number of charities. She was National Chair of the unsuccessful YES! to Fairer Votes campaign in the 2011 UK Alternative Vote referendum. She has sought selection in several parliamentary seats for the Labour Party.

Personal life and education[edit]

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

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 and 1994 Ghose worked as a parliamentary researcher and senior caseworker to Labour MP Greville Janner. She then became Parliamentary Officer for the Citizens Advice Bureaux.

Ghose qualified and practised as a barrister between 1997 and 1999, specialising in immigration, family and Human Rights law. She later wrote Beyond the Courtroom: a lawyer’s guide to campaigning, which was published by the Legal Action Group in 2005.

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.

Ghose is currently an independent council member of the University of Sussex and a board member of the US democracy group Fair Vote. She was a trustee and Company Secretary of Stonewall (2005–2011) and was chair of two charities, Asylum Aid (1997–1999) and Bail for Immigration Detainees (2002–2004). She also served as a Commissioner on the Independent Asylum Commission from 2006-2008.

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

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 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".[2] A leading Liberal Democrat blogger has questioned why Ghose was still leading the Electoral Reform Society in the wake of the 2011 defeat.[3] 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."[4]

Political activity and ambitions[edit]

Ghose is a member of the Labour Party and sought selection as a Parliamentary candidate before the 2015 election in the constituencies of Brighton Kemptown, Stoke-on-Trent North, Great Grimsby and York Central. Her bids for office prompted the Daily Mail and the Guido Fawkes blog to question her independence on issues such as boundary reform and TV debates. [1] [2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ERS - meet our staff". Electoral Reform Society. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Bernard Jenkin MP: No more concessions to Clegg. No more appeasement. No more sell outs". ConservativeHome. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Why should I listen to Katie Ghose?". MarkReckons. Retrieved 24 Aug 2011. 
  4. ^ James Graham, 'My 'yes' campaign hell', The Liberator The Liberator

External links[edit]