Ministerial role

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and the Lords Spokesman on Defence


Responsible for protocol, ceremonial, commemorative issues and spokesman in the House of Lords on all defence matters

Priority areas:

  • delivering the government’s defence agenda in the House of Lords
  • engagement with retired senior defence personnel

Other responsibilities include:

  • protocol, ceremonial, commemorative issues and medals
  • support to defence export campaigns
  • defence relations with Oman

Current role holder: Lord Astor of Hever DL

Lord Astor was appointed Under Secretary of State and the Lords Spokesman on Defence in 2003. He is a Conservative member of the House of Lords.


Lord Astor was educated at Eton.

Political career

In 1994 Lord Astor was a British parliamentary observer in Johannesburg during the South African general election. He was a member of the Executive Association of Conservative Peers from 1996 to 1998.

From 1998 to 2001, he served as Opposition Spokesman on Social Security and for a further 2 years as Health Spokesman. He also served as Opposition Spokesman for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and International Development from 2001, and from 2003 as Defence Spokesman.

He was elected an hereditary peer in 1999.

Career outside politics

Lord Astor served in The Life Guards from 1965 to 1970. He was Honorary Colonel of 101 (City of London) Engineer Regiment from 2005 to 2010. He worked in France for 11 years and is patron of the Conservatives in Paris.

He is also president of The Life Guards Regimental Council, the Douglas Haig Fellowship, the Durand Group, which restores First World War tunnels and trenches, and a trustee of the Astor of Hever Trust.

Personal life

Lord Astor is a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent. He is married with a son and 4 daughters and has a farm in Kent.


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