News story

Lord Astor and Peter Luff MP confirmed as new Parliamentary Under Secretaries of State for Defence

Lord Astor of Hever and Peter Luff MP have been confirmed as new Parliamentary under Secretaries of State for Defence.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Further details of their exact titles and responsibilities will be confirmed over the coming days.

Lord Astor of Hever

Lord Astor was born in June 1946 and educated at Eton. From 1966 to 1970 he served in The Life Guards in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Northern Ireland and on ceremonial duties in London.

Since 2005 Lord Astor has been an Honorary Colonel of 101 (City of London) Engineer Regiment, which was recently transferred from the Territorial to the Regular Army and specialises in bomb and improvised explosive device (IED) disposal.

He worked in France for 11 years and is Patron of the Conservatives in Paris.

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. In 1999 he was elected an Hereditary Peer.

From 1998 to 2001 he served as an Opposition Spokesman on Social Security, and Health from 1998 to 2003. From 2001 he has been an Opposition Spokesman for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and International Development, and from 2003 Defence.

Lord Astor is a Trustee of the Astor of Hever Trust, Chairman of the Rochester Cathedral Trust, and is also Patron of Westerham Sea Cadets.

He is President of Kent County Agricultural Society, the Earl Haig branch of the Royal British Legion, and the Motorsport Industry Association, and a former President of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Lord Astor is a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent and is married with one son and four daughters.

In May 2010 Lord Astor was appointed a Lord-in-Waiting.

Peter Luff MP

Mr Luff was educated at Windsor Grammar School and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he read Economics. Mr Luff worked from 1977 to 1980 for Peter, now Lord, Walker who was then MP for Worcester. He then went on to be head of private office to former Prime Minister the late Sir Edward Heath in the early 1980s.

After this Mr Luff became a successful businessman in the corporate communications industry. He has also been company secretary of his family’s retail stationery firm.

In 1997 Mr Luff was appointed chairman of the Commons Agriculture Committee. In 2000 he joined the front bench as an Opposition Whip and served as Assistant Chief Whip from 2002 to 2005. Since the 2005 election, Mr Luff has been Chairman of the influential Business, Innovation and Skills Committee and its predecessors (the Trade and Industry and subsequently Business and Enterprise Committees).

Mr Luff was first elected as MP for Worcester in 1992 and then for the new Mid-Worcestershire seat in 1997. He lives in the county with his wife Julia. They have two grown-up children.

Published 26 May 2010