Ministerial role

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State


The Northern Ireland Office is responsible for overseeing the Northern Ireland devolution settlement and representing Northern Ireland interests at UK government level and UK government interests in Northern Ireland.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary reports to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Responsibilities are:

  • Engagement and outreach to community groups, including around parading, and the business community

  • Electoral services

  • Armed Forces Covenant

  • Human rights and equality

  • Parliamentary liaison with Peers

Current role holder: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

Lord Bourne was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government on 17 July 2016. He has been a member of the Lords since September 2013.


He was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford; University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied law.

Political career

He previously served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change and as a Lord in Waiting from May 2015 until July 2016.

He was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Wales Office in May 2015.

From 2014 to 2015 he was a Lords Whip (2014 to 2015) responsible for the Wales Office, the Department for International Development, the Department for Work and Pensions and the broadcasting elements of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport portfolio.

Lord Bourne was Assembly Member for Mid & West Wales from 1999 to 2011 and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly for Wales between 2007 and 2011. He was also a member of the Silk Commission.

Career outside politics

Between 1996 and 1998 Lord Bourne was Professor of Law at Swansea Law School. Lord Bourne has taught law at Hong Kong University, the London School of Economics and at Cambridge University.

Previous holders of this role

  1. Kris Hopkins

    • 2016 to 2017


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