Who We Are

Information on the group members:



Tim Loughton was educated in Lewes and at Warwick and Cambridge universities.  A director of Fleming Private Asset Management since 1992, he was elected MP for East Worthing and Shoreham in 1997. Tim was shadow minister for housing, regeneration and the regions in 2001, and from 2001-3, shadow health minister. From 2003-10, he was shadow minister for children, and became Parliamentary Under Secretary for Children and Families from 2010 until September 2012. From the backbenches, he continues to work vigorously in support of improved policies in the main areas of his expertise.  He became chairman of MPG in 2013.


Melanie Gill is an assessment  psychologist and court expert witness  who specialises in child development, trauma, schema theory and mental health. She regularly writes and speaks about her areas of expertise on local and national media and at conferences. She is an advisor to the cross-party think tank the Centre for Social Justice and has contributed to several of their major policy reports about family and mental health. Melanie is also a committee member of the Association for Infant Mental Health UK, an expert witness in the family courts, and chairs Mental Health Act hearings in Sussex.


David is a former newspaper journalist,  BBC producer and publicity officer for news and current affairs,  and was controller of public affairs at the breakfast television service TV-am. For almost twenty years, he has run his own business advising at board level broadcasters about communications issues.   He is also a family court magistrate and deputy chairman of the Sussex Family Committee, the representative body of the 130 family court magistrates in the county. David has also recently trained as a psychotherapist and practises in a leading south coast clinic.


Penelope Leach, one of the UK’s best-known child development psychologists, has worked throughout her research career to provide child care information and advice for parents. She is a leading advocate for the needs of families and her books have sold in millions. Her best known book Your Baby and Child, first published in the 1970s and last published in 2010, has sold almost 3 million copies worldwide. Penelope is Hon. Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues, Birkbeck, University of London and at the Tavistock and Portman NHS trust. She is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a founder member of the Association of Infant Mental Health. Her MPG book Family Breakdown:Helping Children to Hang on to Both their Parents was published in June 2014.


Colin Maginn is a Director of The Pillars of Parenting, a social enterprise working to improve outcomes for children in public care. For more than 30 years, Colin has been working directly with children and young people in public care. This experience has included managing a secure unit (Park House, Salford), being a team leader in a regional assessment centre (Orchard Lodge, London) and the director of Ingleside Children’s Home (London). He co-authored Achieving Positive Outcomes for Children in Care (2009) and was jointly responsible for developing the “emotional warmth” approach to professional child care.


John Sanderson is a former City investment analyst who has moved through strategy and business development consulting for businesses in the creative industries into a combination of consulting and new enterprise support. His role with MPG is to assist with the development of its commercial ambitions.  He strongly believes that charities should play out of position where the opportunity offers and make themselves as self-supporting as possible.  John was a founding Trustee of the charity Pilotlight.


Phil Shepherd is a director of the social impact software company Gooisoft, which has developed revolutionary thought-processing software, the rights to which have been granted to MPG in the psychological arena. With 25 years’ experience of starting up new businesses, Phil has worked in the psychology of decision making, creativity and innovative thinking. In the voluntary sector, he is a trustee of the charity Work Stress Solutions which helps those with stress-related illness regain confidence prior to returning to work. For ten years Phil was also a trustee of the Wave Trust, which works to tackle the root causes of violence.


Ivor Frank is a human rights barrister who is a member of the Associate Parliamentary Group for children in care.  He was himself brought up in residential care from the age of three.



Felicity de Zulueta is a consultant psychiatrist in psychotherapy who has headed the Traumatic Stress Service in the Maudsley Hospital, London and is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer in Traumatic Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry. Her book From Pain to Violence is a cornerstone in the understanding of attachment patterns and behaviour.


Jeremy Turk is Professor of Developmental Psychiatry at St. George’s, University of London, and Consultant Child in Adolescent Psychiatrist in the South West London St. George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, where he is Clinical Team Leader on the Child Adolescent Mental Health Learning Disability Service. Among his most recent publications is: Developing Mental Health Services for Children and Adolescents with Learning Disabilities: A Toolkit for Clinicians, Edited by Sarah Bernard and Jeremy Turk.


Margot Sunderland is Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health London, Honorary Visiting Fellow at London Metropolitan University and Child Psychotherapist with more than 20 years experience of working with children and families.