Ministerial role

Government Deputy Chief Whip and Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard


Lords Whips have the same constitutional position as departmental ministers. Their role in the House of Lords is different from that of Whips in the Commons, which is predominantly party management.

A Lords Whip has an active role at the despatch box promoting and defending departmental policy which involves:

  • answering questions
  • responding to debates
  • taking through primary and secondary legislation

If the department concerned does not have a departmental minister in the House of Lords, all of that department’s business will fall to a Whip.

Current role holder: Earl of Courtown

The Earl of Courtown was appointed as Deputy Chief Whip (Captain of The Queen’s Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard ) on 17 July 2016.


He was educated at Eton College, the Berkshire College of Agriculture and at the Royal Agricultural College.

Political career

The Earl of Courtown first entered the House of Lords in July 1979 and was elected as an excepted hereditary Peer following the reforms of 1999. Before joining the government he served as a Conservative Party Whip and was a member of the Digital Skills Committee. He served as a Government Whip and Lord in Waiting from May 2015 until July 2016.

Career outside politics

Alongside his Parliamentary duties the Earl of Courtown has worked as a land agent in Gloucester and Shrewsbury.

Personal life

The Earl of Courtown is married with a son and 2 daughters.

Previous holders of this role

  1. Lord Gardiner of Kimble

    • 2015 to 2016
  2. Lord Newby OBE

    • 2010 to 2015


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