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The membership of the House includes individuals who have served:

  • in cabinet, including as First Secretary of State, Deputy Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary or Foreign Secretary;
  • as Cabinet Secretary, Head of the Home Civil Service, Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, Head of the Diplomatic Service, Director-General of the Security Service (MI5) or as a UK Ambassador;
  • as a council leader, including the current leaders of Wiltshire Council and South Holland District Council;
  • as Chief of the Defence Staff or Secretary-General of NATO;
  • as a Justice of the Supreme Court, including the current President;
  • as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police;
  • as a university vice-chancellor;
  • as Archbishop of Canterbury, including the current Archbishop, or Chief Rabbi;
  • as Director-General of the BBC or Chief Executive of ITV;
  • as an Olympic or Paralympic athlete;
  • in the European Commission; or
  • as the current Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

Members of the House of Lords have a wide variety of professional backgrounds. This briefing does not list all positions held by Members in their professional lives and so should not be relied upon as a comprehensive source of information on the breadth of professional experience within the House.

This edition updates the earlier briefing House of Lords: Backgrounds in Public Life (5 April 2017). The lists in this document have been compiled using information in the public domain. The Library would welcome comment on any omissions or inaccuracies, and/or suggestions for lists to be included in future editions.

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