Traylor-Smith photoControversy centred on the judging of this photograph by Abbie Trayler-Smith in last year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

Photographers who are called upon to judge future competitions at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) will be told to ?explicitly declare? any potential conflicts of interest.

The NPG is strengthening its guidelines after managers spent months investigating whether photographer Harry Borden had unduly favoured a prize winner when judging last year?s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010.

The NPG was concerned over Borden?s ?close personal relationship? with fourth place winner Abbie Trayler-Smith (see her entry above).

In the end, the gallery vindicated the photographer – who was one of six judges – concluding that Borden ?did not at any stage speak in favour of this image?.

However, in a statement following its investigation an NPG spokesman added: ?The report also concluded that in future the gallery?s guidelines for avoiding conflict of interest should be strengthened on two counts.

?Once in the letter of appointment to judges and secondly in the briefing of them, both at the start of the judging process and again at the moment that works are selected for the exhibition and awards, when any potential conflicts of interest will more explicitly be declared.?

The NPG added: ?The gallery is implementing these recommendations for the BP Portrait Award 2011 and the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011.’

Harry Borden could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.

Yesterday Borden told the British Journal of Photography that at no time did he favour Trayler-Smith?s photo.


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