Ministerial role

Minister of State for Defence


The minister is responsible for ceremonial duties, commemorations and Spokesman in the House of Lords on all defence matters including:

  • ceremonial duties, medallic recognition and protocol
  • commemorations
  • engagement with retired senior defence personnel and wider opinion formers
  • community engagement
  • arms control and proliferation including export licensing
  • UK Hydrographic Office
  • NATO and EU relations including Brexit
  • engagement with Parliamentarians including ministerial correspondence and PQs
  • Australia, Far East
  • Efficiency Programme
  • defence fire and rescue
  • London estate

Current role holder: The Rt Hon Earl Howe

Lord Howe was appointed Deputy Leader of the House of Lords and Minister of State for Defence in May 2015. He is a Conservative member of the House of Lords.


He was educated at Rugby School and Christ Church, Oxford.

Political career

Lord Howe served as Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 1992 to 1995 and as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence from 1995 to 1997. In opposition he served as Spokesperson for Health from 1997 to 2010.

Career outside politics

He joined Barclays Bank in 1973, where he served in a number of managerial and senior managerial posts both overseas and in London before being appointed London director of Adam & Co plc in 1987.

Personal life

Lord Howe is married with 4 children.

Previous holders of this role

  1. Lord Astor of Hever DL

    • 2010 to 2015


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