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For example, the current membership of the House of Lords includes individuals who have held: 

  • Ministerial roles such as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary or Foreign Secretary.
  • Elected office, including as an MP, MEP, MSP, MS, MLA, an elected mayor or a Police and Crime Commissioner.
  • Leadership roles in city, borough, and district councils.
  • Senior roles in the civil service, including Cabinet Secretary, National Security Adviser, Head of the Diplomatic Service or Director-General of the Security Service (MI5).
  • Senior roles in the armed forces, including as Chief of the Defence Staff or as professional head of one of the services.
  • Senior judicial office, whether in the UK Supreme Court or in the court systems in England and Wales or Scotland.
  • The post of Vice-chancellor (or equivalent) at a university.
  • Leadership roles at major broadcasters or at major newspapers or news magazines.

Members of the House of Lords have a wide range of professional experience. This is often difficult to quantify given the huge range of roles that may have been undertaken at points in time by over 800 individuals. This briefing aims to mitigate this to an extent by presenting lists of members who have served in specified roles. But it is by no means exhaustive and should only be taken as an introduction to the breadth of experience amongst the current membership.

Membership information is correct as at the date of publication. Every care has been taken to ensure the information is as complete as possible, but the Library welcomes comment on any omissions or inaccuracies that may be present. In addition, the Library would welcome suggestions from members or other readers on lists that could usefully be included in future editions.

This briefing updates an earlier edition published in April 2019.

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