Ministerial role

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip)

Current role holder: The Rt Hon Mark Spencer MP

Responsibilities

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 Mark Spencer MP

Mark Spencer was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip) in July 2019. He was previously Comptroller of HM Household (Government Whip) between July 2018 and July 2019, and Vice Chamberlain of HM Household (Government Whip) between January and July 2018. He was Junior Lord of the Treasury (Government Whip) from June 2017 to January 2018. He was an Assistant Government Whip from 17 July 2016 to 15 June 2017.

Mark was elected Conservative MP for Sherwood in May 2010.

More about this person

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Julian Smith MP

    2017 to 2019

  2. The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP

    2016 to 2017

  3. The Rt Hon Mark Harper MP

    2015 to 2016

  4. The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

    2014 to 2015

  5. The Rt Hon Sir George Young Bt

    2012 to 2014

  6. The Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP

    2012 to 2012

  7. The Rt Hon Sir Patrick McLoughlin

    2010 to 2012