Ministerial role

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State represents DFID in the House of Lords.

They lead on the following areas within DFID:

  • West and Southern Africa

  • East and Central Africa and Somalia

  • Policy (exluding anti-corruption)

  • The Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

  • eliminating violence against women and girls

Current role holder: Baroness Northover

Baroness Northover was appointed to the role of Lead Spokesperson for DFID in the House of Lords in September 2011.

She is also a government spokesperson for DCMS, DEFRA, Health, and Women and Equalities, and is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords.


Baroness Northover studied at Oxford University, later winning scholarships to the USA where she gained her master’s and PhD.

Political career

Baroness Northover entered the House of Lords in 2000 and was appointed Health Spokesperson. In 2002 she became Liberal Democrat Front Bench Spokesperson on International Development. As a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union, she served on the Sub Committees on Foreign Affairs, Defence and International Development, and Economic Affairs, Finance and International Trade. She was Chair of Women Liberal Democrats, the Health and Welfare Association and a trustee of the Liberal Democrats.

Career outside politics

Baroness Northover was a lecturer at University College, London, and the Wellcome Institute. She is a former trustee of UNICEF and the Tropical Health and Education Trust, a council member of the Overseas Development Institute and Vice Chair of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Lynne Featherstone MP

    • 2012 to 2014
  2. The Rt Hon Stephen O’Brien MP

    • 2010 to 2012


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  1. West Africa: Lifesaving aid for a further 200,000 people

    • 19 June 2012
    • News story
  2. West Africa: Minister sees food aid saving lives in Sahel

    • 19 June 2012
    • News story
  3. Green growth: Business to help beat resource scarcity

    • 11 June 2012
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  4. Stephen O'Brien: Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance

    • 16 May 2012
    • Speech
  5. South Sudan: UK warns of humanitarian disaster

    • 26 April 2012
    • News story
  6. Stephen O’Brien: Slowing global deforestation

    • 20 April 2012
    • Speech
  7. UK medics to help save lives of more mums and babies

    • 15 March 2012
    • News story
  8. Sudan: Hope for people hit by Darfur conflict

    • 2 March 2012
    • News story
  9. Stephen O'Brien visits Somali community in Bristol

    • 20 February 2012
    • News story
  10. UK and partners unite to combat tropical diseases

    • 30 January 2012
    • News story