Black Rod appointed to investigate the PCC

Black Rod has been made the Press Complaints Commission’s charter commissioner.

Lt Gen Sir Michael Willcocks, who currently serves in the ceremonial role at parliament, will take over from Sir Brian Cubbon in May.

Willcocks, a former assistant chief of the general staff in the British Army, will serve a three-year term.

The charter commissioner is an independent figure who investigates complaints against the PCC’s handling of cases, and who publishes an annual report.

Outgoing PCC chairman, Sir Christopher Meyer, said: ‘It is absolutely essential that people who complain to us have confidence that the PCC system is fair and rigorous.

‘The office of the charter commissioner adds an important layer of accountability that helps keep our standards of service high by offering independent reviews of the manner in which we have handled complaints.”

Meyer also announced Dr Elizabeth Vallance [Lady Vallance of Tummel] has been appointed to the PCC’s appointments commission, replacing Sir David Clementi, who retired at the end of 2008.

The appointments commission is an unremunerated body that meets twice a year to make appointments to Press Complaints Commission board and the Charter Compliance Panel, and to appoint the charter commissioner.

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