Ministerial role

Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms (Lords Chief 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

The Rt Hon Lord Ashton of Hyde

Lord Ashton of Hyde was appointed Lords Chief Whip (Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms) on 26 July 2019.

He was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport from July 2016 to July 2019. He was previously appointed a Lord in Waiting (Whip) in the House of Lords in July 2014.


He was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Oxford.

Political career

Lord Ashton was elected to the Lords as a hereditary Peer in 2011 and before joining the government was a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Arctic.

Career outside politics

He served in the Royal Hussars and the Royal Wessex Yeomanry. Prior to joining the government Lord Ashton was Chief Executive Officer of Faraday Underwriting Ltd and sat on the Council of Lloyd’s. He was a member of the Royal College of Defence Studies’ 2013/14 course.

Personal life

Lord Ashton is married with 4 daughters.

More about this person

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Lord Taylor of Holbeach CBE

    2014 to 2019

  2. The Rt Hon Baroness Anelay of St Johns DBE

    2010 to 2014