The Chief Whip is responsible for administering the whipping system that ensures that members of the party attend and vote in Parliament as the party leadership desires.
Whips are MPs or Lords appointed by each party in Parliament to help organise their party’s contribution to parliamentary business. One of their responsibilities is making sure the maximum number of their party members vote, and vote the way their party wants.
Other whip duties
Whips frequently act as tellers (counting votes in divisions). They also manage the pairing system whereby Members of opposing parties both agree not to vote when other business (such as a select committee visit) prevents them from being present at Westminster.
Whips are also largely responsible (together with the Leader of the House in the Commons) for arranging the business of Parliament. In this role they are frequently referred to as ‘the usual channels’.
Current role holder: The Rt Hon Julian Smith MP
Julian Smith was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip) on 2 November 2017. He was Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip) from 13 June 2017 to 2 November 2017.
Previously he was Vice Chamberlain of HM Household (Government Whip) from 17 July 2016 to 13 June 2017. He was elected Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon in 2010.
Julian was educated at Millfield School. He read English and history at the University of Birmingham.
In Parliament, Julian had a brief stint in the Scottish Affairs Committee in 2010. Julian served as an a Assistant Government Whip from May 2015 until July 2016.
Career before politics
Julian was an entrepreneur before entering Parliament, setting up and leading Arq International.