New Chairman for the Centre for Opposition Studies (CfOS)

The Centre for Opposition Studies at the University of Bolton is delighted to announce the appointment of its new Chairman, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon.

Baroness Royall of BlaisdonJan Royall was Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords from 2010 to 2015, after serving in Gordon Brown’s Cabinet as Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council from 2008-2010. She is currently Principal of Somerville College, Oxford University, where she took up her appointment in September 2017.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Bolton, Professor George E Holmes DL, said:

‘We are very pleased Baroness Royall will be joining the academic community at the University of Bolton. The Centre for Opposition Studies is a unique venture in the study of politics, and to have someone of Baroness Royall’s experience and standing as its Chairman is a great tribute which will help it to go from strength to strength. I look forward to welcoming her to the University in due course’.

Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq, who has served as Chairman of the Centre since its foundation, will now become its Executive Director. He announced the appointment of his successor, saying: ‘I am thrilled to welcome Baroness Royall as our new Chairman. She has been a big supporter of the Centre from the outset, and has a wealth of experience to bring to the role.’

Before being appointed to the House of Lords by Tony Blair in 2004, Jan Royall worked at the European Commission, initially as a member of the Cabinet of Neil Kinnock, for whom she had previously worked for nine years when he was Leader of the Opposition. Lord Kinnock now serves as an honorary president of CfOS, and he welcomed the appointment, saying:

‘Jan Royall has huge experience of government and opposition in the U.K. at very senior levels and in practical operational roles. She also has a long record of activity in assisting groups seeking liberty of expression and representation in other countries, so she will be a great and wise asset to the Centre as its Chair’.

Lord Howard of Lympne, who serves alongside Lord Kinnock as an honorary president of CfOS, added:

‘I welcome the appointment of Baroness Royall and wish the Centre for Opposition Studies continuous success’.

Commenting on her appointment, Baroness Royall said:

‘I am honoured to have been appointed as the new Chairman of the Centre for Opposition Studies at the University of Bolton. I have taken a keen interest in its work for many years, and am very much looking forward to playing an increased role in supporting Mohammed and Nigel in the Centre’s innovative research. Opposition is such an important part of the political process which we too often take for granted, and it is vital that it receives proper attention.’

The Centre for Opposition Studies was founded in 2010 by Nigel Fletcher and Professor Mohammed Abdel Haq as an independent cross-party think tank dedicated to the study of political opposition in the UK and overseas. The Centre joined the University of Bolton under a partnership agreement in March of this year.

For futher information, please contact Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq on:


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