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: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Lord O’Shaughnessy was appointed as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and a Government Whip (Lord in Waiting) in December 2016.
Lord O’Shaughnessy was a senior fellow at the Legatum Institute and at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham.
In 2013, he founded Floreat Education, a multi-academy trust of 3 primary schools in Wandsworth, Wokingham and Brentford that provides an ‘academics and character’ educational philosophy. He held a number of other education and advisory positions.
In his role as Director of Policy to the Prime Minister between 2010 and 2011, he was responsible for co-authoring the coalition’s programme for government and overseeing the implementation of the government’s domestic policy programme.
He was Director of the Conservative Research Department from 2007 to 2010 and authored the Conservative Party’s general election manifesto.
He was made a life peer in 2015.