The Press Complaints Commission has appointed two new public members.
Rear Admiral Nick Wilkinson, the Secretary of the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee between 1999 and 2004, is to join the Commission on July 1 following the retirement of Dr Arthur Hearnden.
He will be followed on July 1, 2006, by Ian Nichol, an accountant and member of the Criminal Cases Review Commission, who has been appointed to fill the vacancy that will arise on the retirement of Bishop John Waine.
The appointments have been made by an independent Appointments Commission following public advertisements across the country.
PCC chairman Sir Christopher Meyer said: “In Nick Wilkinson and Ian Nichol, the Appointments Commission has found two rigorously independent individuals who will bring a great deal of experience, and differing perspectives, to the Commission’s work.
“I am confident that they will greatly contribute to the robust debates that we have over privacy and other matters, and look forward to working with them.
“At the same time, it is with sadness that we say goodbye to Arthur Hearnden, who has served the Commission so well for the last six years. He will be missed by his colleagues on the PCC, as well as by members of the Commission’s full time staff.”
There are 17 members of the Commission. Ten members – including the chairman – are lay Commissioners who have no connection to the industry.
Seven members are drawn from among the ranks of senior editors in the national and regional press, and from periodicals, and these include Paul Horrocks, editor of the Manchester Evening News, Belfast Telegraph editor Edmund Curran and Charles McGhee, editor of the Evening Times in Glasgow.