British Psychological Society president steps down

The president of the British Psychological Society has stepped down from her role on the charity’s trustee board due to family commitments.

The BPS acts as the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK, and is responsible for the promotion of excellence and ethical practice in the science, education and application of the discipline.

In a statement, the charity told Third Sector its president, Hazel McLaughlin, had taken the difficult decision due to significant health issues in her family.

The president acts as the chair of the charity’s trustee board and the presidency rotates every year.

When a new candidate is elected, they act as president-elect for a year, before becoming president, followed by a year as vice-president.

McLaughlin had been in post since last year and would have made way for current president-elect, Nigel MacLennan, at the charity’s annual general meeting later this year.

An acting chair of the trustee board will step in until that time.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “Dr Hazel McLaughlin has made the difficult decision to step down from her role due to significant health issues within her immediate family.

"Professor Carol McGuinness, who had already been offering additional support to Hazel in her role as president, will continue in her position as acting chair of the board of trustees.

We all send Hazel and her family our very best wishes at this difficult time.”

A long-standing trustee and former president of the BPS resigned in February this year, citing concerns about governance, spending and transparency.

David Murphy was president of the charity in 2019/20, and had been involved in a range of roles over the past 20 years.

His resignation came as it was revealed that the charity’s chief executive, Sarb Bajwa, was on “extended leave”, according to the charity, and its director of finance and resources, Harnish Hadani, resigned in December 2020 to start a new role.

The BPS confirmed that Diane Ashby, its deputy chief executive, is filling in for Bajwa in his absence.

A spokesperson for the charity added: “Recruitment for a director of finance and resources is already under way.”

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