Charity expels president elect following ‘persistent bullying’ allegations

The British Psychological Society (BPS) has expelled its president elect after upholding allegations of “persistent bullying” against him.

Professor Nigel MacLennan was to become the charity’s president following the departure of Dr Hazel McLaughlin from the role earlier this year.

But two independent external investigations have “together upheld allegations of persistent bullying and a member conduct process was initiated”, according to the BPS.

This process was carried out by senior charity figures, including the chair of its ethics committee and as a result “Professor MacLennan is no longer a member of the BPS, he also ceases to be a trustee and will not now become BPS President”, says the charity.

The charity adds that Porefessor MacLennan can appeal the decision within 21 days “if he believes that there are exceptional circumstances to justify this and/or that there were procedural failings”.

BPS chair Professor Carol McGuiness said: “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.”

Voting for a president elect for 2021/2022 is currently live and the trustees are meeting today (Friday, 7 May) and will shortly afterwards confirm the process for electing a president.

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