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 Gavin Williamson
The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP was appointed as Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury) on 14 July 2016. He was elected Conservative MP for South Staffordshire in May 2010.