The Commission

All Commissioners bring their own personal expertise to the PCC, coming from different backgrounds and with different experiences.



There are 10 public members, including the Chairman, who have no connection to the industry. Following open advertisement and interview, they are appointed by the Appointments Commission (which itself has a majority of lay members).

Cases brought before the Commission are discussed at length and different Commissioners put forward their own understanding and opinion. Rulings are reached by consensus following discussion.

The editors – brought in to provide industry knowledge and the weight of peer judgement – are in the minority to ensure the independence of the PCC. Following nomination by one of the industry trade bodies, the editorial members of the Commission are also appointed by the Appointments Commission.


The PCC now publishes the minutes of its meetings so as to be more open about its processes. It also has an online register of interests.

In 2009, the members of the Appointments Commission were:

  • The Chairman of the PCC (until April, Sir Christopher Meyer and Baroness Buscombe thereafter);
  • The Chairman of the Press Standards Board of Finance (until September, Tim Bowdler CBE and Guy Black thereafter);
  • Andrew Phillips OBE (Lord Phillips of Sudbury);
  • Lord Evans of Temple Guiting CBE; and
  • Dr Elizabeth Vallance (Lady Vallance of Tummel).

There is more information about the Appointments Commission at:

Two distinguished senior figures left the PCC in 2009. Sir Christopher Meyer completed his tenure in March after having served for 6 years as Chairman and Tim Toulmin stepped aside as Director in late December after 10 years with the PCC. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them both for their dedicated service.

The following people also served on the Commission during the course of the year. We are very grateful to them all:

  • Spencer Feeney
    (editorial member, until April)
  • Colleen Harris
    (public member, until July)
  • Vivien Hepworth
    (public member; until September)
  • Simon Irwin
    (editorial member; until March)
2010 Press Complaints Commission