IMPRESS is governed by a Board with a wide range of skills and experience. The Chair and Board Members of IMPRESS are appointed by our independent Appointment Panel.

Board Members of IMPRESS:


Walter MerricksWalter Merricks CBE was the first Chief Ombudsman of the Financial Ombudsman Service, with responsibility for an organisation of 1,500 staff and a £90m budget. He has just completed a six-year term as a member of the board of the Gambling Commission and has been involved in dispute resolution and regulation in the fields of legal services, healthcare, insurance, energy and intellectual property, among others. He has also worked as a legal journalist and academic.


Board members:

Deborah ArnottDeborah Arnott is Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), which has a reputation as one of the UK’s most effective campaigning charities. She was awarded the Alwyn Smith prize by the Faculty of Public Health for her role in getting the ban on smoking in public places. After gaining an MBA from Cranfield and working in print and TV journalism she set up and ran the Financial Service Authority’s consumer education function. As a producer and programme editor in current affairs and documentaries she developed and ran a wide range of programmes for ITV and Channel 4.

Emma Jones is a writer and journalist. She is a regular columnist and reporter and interviewer for The New European. Emma is a former editor of Smash Hits magazine. As a news and showbusiness reporter, she worked for the Sunday Mirror, Mail on Sunday and the Sun (youngest Fleet St. columnist and Bizarre Deputy Editor.) Television work includes live presenting for Channel Four and ITV. Emma is Deputy Chair of Governors at Tidemill Academy, in Deptford, S.E London.

David Leigh was Anthony Sampson professor of reporting at City, University of London 2006-18. Until he retired from the paper in 2013, he was investigations editor at The Guardian for 13 years. In a journalism career spanning over 40 years he also worked for The Observer, The Times, The Scotsman, Granada TV, Thames TV and the Washington Post. He has won numerous journalism awards including Investigation of the Year 2015 (British Journalism Awards), Lifetime Achievement Award 2013, Global Investigative Journalism Network, and awards at the British Press Awards in 1979,1996 and 1997. His latest book is Investigative Journalism – a survival guide.

David Robinson (Treasurer and Senior Independent Board Member) is Non-Executive Director and Audit Committee Chair of Forester Life (UK), lay member of the Investigations Committee of the Chartered Accountants of Scotland and a Trustee of diversity charity, ‘Changing the Chemistry’. He is the former Chair of insurer Engage Mutual, former Governor and Audit &Risk Committee Chair of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh and former Chair of the start-up charity ‘Smalls for All’. An actuary, he was the founder and former CEO of life insurer, Bright Grey and previously UK Marketing Director of insurer Scottish Provident.

Patrick Swaffer is President of the British Board of Film Classification, the independent non-statutory body which provides trusted classification for film and video. He also sits as a Recorder in the Crown Court and is a partner in Media Compliance Services. He was for more than 30 years a solicitor with the firm Goodman Derrick, specialising in media law and working principally with broadcasters and book publishers. He frequently advised such clients when disputes arose regarding contentious material both prior to and after publication.

Andrea Wills has exceptional experience in broadcasting regulation, standard setting, and investigating serious editorial failings in the UK and Australia. She was Independent Editorial Adviser to the BBC Trust and investigated over 60 complaints about BBC content over the decade it existed. She began her career as a journalist and news editor in local radio, moved to television as an executive producer, before joining the BBC’s Editorial Policy team as its Chief Adviser. In Australia she worked for the ABC in Sydney, conducting independent reviews of broadcast content, developing editorial and media ethics standards, and training senior journalists. Andrea is on the Appeals Panel for the Video Standards Council Rating Board and is a board member with the Bristol based Learn@ Multi-Academy Trust.