Ministerial role

Baroness in Waiting (Government Whip)


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

Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen

Baroness Chisholm was Baroness in Waiting from August 2019 to February 2020.

She was previously appointed Baroness in Waiting on 13 May 2015 and was also appointed as spokesperson on Cabinet Office business in the House of Lords on 17 July 2016. She left the government in March 2018.


She attended St Michael’s Burton Park School in Sussex.

Political career

Lady Chisholm entered the House of Lords in September 2014. Previously she was Chair of the Conservative Party’s Candidates Committee.

Career before politics

Before her Parliamentary career Baroness Chisholm was a state registered nurse.

Personal life

Baroness Chisholm is married and has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.

More about this person

Previous holders of this role

  1. Baroness Penn

    2020 to 2021

  2. Baroness Berridge of The Vale of Catmose

    2019 to 2020

  3. Baroness Jolly

    2013 to 2015

  4. Baroness Garden of Frognal

    2010 to 2013