Life as a Whip

After returning from the summer recess on the 5th September 2017, it was Chris's job, as Vice-Chamberlain of the Household, to formally provide the House with an answer from Her Majesty in reply to a response addressing this House. Please see the minute long video above

After serving on the backbenches for 6 years, Chris was made an Assistant Government Whip in 2016. The word Whip derives from 18th Century hunting terminology where a huntsman would use a whip to drive straying hounds back into the main pack.

Chris thoroughly enjoyed his role as Assistant Whip and during his tenure he was in charge of Cabinet Office and Education business. These responsibilities include matters such as the voting system, National Citizen Service, Grammar Schools as well as Fridays in the House of Commons and Private Members’ business.

In June 2017 he was again promoted to a more senior position within the Whips Office, and held the rather glamorous title of Vice-Chamberlain of the Household.

Most recently, in January 2018, Chris was promoted once more, this time to the role of Comptroller of Her Majesty’s Household. This makes him the second highest ranking member of the Lord Steward’s department, with the first being the Treasurer of the Household. He follows in the footsteps of the likes of Lord Tommy McAvoy and Sir George Young.

The job has a fascinating history which goes back as far as medieval times, when the title meant ‘Controller of the Wardrobe’ within the royal household. The first person recorded to hold the title was Sir Robert Lytton in 1399, and it is thought that the word ‘Controller’ changed to ‘Comptroller’ in the 1500s due to the influence of the French word ‘compte’ which translates to ‘account’.

His new position enhances his duties as a Whip, such as ensuring that MPs vote in line with the government in the House of Commons. Additionally, Chris will accompany the Queen and other members of the Royal Family to certain events, whilst carrying a white staff of office. Chris is relishing the opportunity to once again be involved right at the heart of Government

Whilst being a Whip has somewhat changed the nature of Chris' work, it certainly hasn’t altered Chris' commitment to representing his constituents, in fact Chris' appointment allows him to raise local matters at a higher level and he will continue to bang the drum for Daventry in Westminster, albeit in a slightly different way.