Whistleblowing: from Evidence to Change

Was held on Friday 13 November 2:00-3:30pm (UK time)

Videos of each section can be found at the bottom of the page

This symposium explores the importance of whistleblowing in uncovering wrongdoing, discusses the case for a new independent whistleblower protection agency, and the use of research to inform legislative reform and achieve societal change.


Dr Lawrence McNamara

Dr Lawrence McNamara is a Reader at York Law School. He has published widely on issues relating to transparency and accountability, especially in relation to national security. Prior to joining York he worked in the NGO sector as Deputy Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law. Lawrence also has a strong interest in research impact. He is Director of Impact for the York Law School and published research on how legal research informs government policy.

Prof Wim Vandekerckhove

Professor Wim Vandekerckhove holds a PhD in Applied Ethics from Ghent University and is Professor of Business Ethics and Co-DIrector of the Centre for Research in Employment and Work (CREW) at the University of Greenwich. His research interests include whistleblowing, transparency, precarity, and philosophy of management and he is Chair of the British Standards Institute ISO Working Group on guidance for whistleblowing standards.

Dr Whitford MP

Dr Philippa Whitford MP is a SNP politician and consultant breast surgeon. She has been MP for Central Ayrshire since May 2015 and is the SNP health spokesperson in the House of Commons. She is a long-term campaigner for whistleblowing reform and has spoken out on whistleblowing in the NHS. In February this year she introduced the Public Interest Disclosure (Protection Bill) which had its second reading on 25 Sep.

Kevin Hollinrake MP

Kevin has been the MP for Thirsk and Malton since May 2015 and holds the position of Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.  He serves on the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee and is Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fair Business Banking.


Time (all times are UK local)EventLead / Speaker
1400WelcomeDr McNamara
1410Event housekeeping, followed by whistleblowing and researchIan Foxley
1415Whistleblower protection around the worldProf Vandekerckhove
1430Reform of the Public Interest Disclosure ActDr Whitford MP
1445Whistleblowing and businessKevin Hollinrake MP
1500Panel discussionChaired by Prof Vandekerckhove
1525Closing remarksIan Foxley


Our speakers will be joined for a panel discussion by the following:

Lt Col (Retd) Ian Foxley

Ian Foxley is a retired Lieutenant Colonel and the Founding Chairman of WhistleblowersUK. He is now in the third year of his PhD at the Centre for Applied Human Rights in the University of York, researching why people do not speak up about wrong-doing when they could do so, using the Airbus case study within which he was the whistleblower.

Georgina Halford-Hall

Georgina is CEO of Whistleblowers UK and a whistleblower on financial irregularities and poor practice within a charity. Whistleblowers UK forms the secretariat of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Whistleblowing, for which Georgina fulfils the subsidiary appointment of Director of Strategy and Policy, building cross-party support for reform.

Andrew Pepper-Parsons

Andrew Pepper-Parsons is the Head of Policy at Protect. In this role he oversees Protect’s lobbying and research, as well as being a senior adviser on the advice line, handling more complex cases. Andy qualified with an LLB in Law from Solent University, and has a MSc in Government, Policy and Politics from Birkbeck, University of London and has been with Protect since 2007.

“Politicians often pay tribute to Whistleblowers for raising concerns about patient and public safety or fraud. Surely then it is time to ensure Whistleblowers are given the protection they need and that the concern is not just investigated, but acted on.”

Dr Phillipa Whitford MP
Introductions (8:11)
Dr Philippa Whitford MP (10:21)
Kevin Hollinrake MP (11:07)
Prof Wim Vandekerckhove (12:53)
Panel discussion (42:29)