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BPS News

Important news from The British Psychological Society

04 May 2021

Following a detailed process under our member conduct rules, the society has today confirmed that the President Elect of the BPS, Professor Nigel MacLennan, has been expelled from membership for repeatedly breaching our member conduct rules.

Following two independent, external investigations, which together upheld allegations of persistent bullying, a member conduct process was initiated.

This process was led by some of our most senior and experienced members, including the Chair of our Ethics Committee, and was independent of the Board of Trustees.

The outcome of the member conduct process means that as Professor MacLennan is no longer a member of the BPS, he also ceases to be a trustee and will not now become BPS President. Professor MacLennan may appeal this decision within 21 days if he believes that there are exceptional circumstances to justify this and/or that there were procedural failings.

The society is extremely conscious of the seriousness of removing an elected official from membership and therefore from office. 

The trustees are also very mindful of their duty to act fairly to Professor MacLennan and in the best interests of the society, our members and employees.

In previous cases involving members, we have not communicated the details of the member conduct process.  However, in this case, as the individual is a trustee and President Elect, transparency and accountability require us to act differently and to provide a summary of the conclusions of the process and the reasons for them.   

Professor Carol McGuinness, Interim Chair of the Board of Trustees said:

“As trustees of the society, we are acutely aware that a combination of factors has resulted in vacancies now across our presidential team.

The voting window for the President Elect for 2021-2022 is currently live and the trustees are meeting this Friday 07 May and will shortly afterwards confirm the process for electing a President for 2021-2022.

This year has been extremely turbulent for the society. Our organisation is not perfect and there are most definitely lessons for the society to learn from this process.

But despite this difficult year, we are proud of the way we’ve continued to push forward with our ambitious change programme; the way our members have come together collectively to support society through a global  pandemic and the way our elected members have continued to act with dedication and determination during times of challenge.

I do hope we can now come together as members to put our collective energy into continuing the modernisation and improvement of our society.”


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