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The Convenor is elected by the members of the crossbench group. The responsibilities of the position are as follows:

1. To be a conduit of information between the House Authorities and the crossbench group and vice versa;
2. to keep the crossbench members informed about parliamentary business;
3. to represent the group, both in and outside the House;
4. to contribute as a member of several domestic committees of the House;
5. to organise the regular business meetings of the group and to manage it's administration;
6. to ensure the expertise of the members of the group are utilised in select committees of the House.

Lord Laming is the current Convenor of the Crossbench Peers.

Lord Laming (Convenor 2011 - )
Baroness D’Souza (Convenor 2007 - 2011 )
Lord Williamson of Horton (Convenor 2004-2007)
Lord Craig of Radley (Convenor 1999-2004)
Lord Weatherill (Alternate Convenor 1993-95, Convenor 1995-99)
Baroness Hylton-Foster (Convenor 1974-95)
Lord Strang of Stonesfield (Convenor 1968-74)


Lord Laming CBE, (William) Herbert, created 1998.
Convenor of the Crossbench Peers 2011 -

Born: 19 July 1936. Son of William and Lillian Laming

Further Education: Durham University (Diploma applied social sciences 1960); Rainer House (probation training 1960-61); London School of Economics (mental health course 1964-65)

Married: Married Aileen Margaret Pollard 1962 (died 2010)

Non-Political Career: Nottingham Probation Service: Probation officer 1961-66, Senior probation officer 1966-68; Assistant chief probation Officer, Nottingham City and County Probation Service 1968-71; Hertfordshire County Council Social Services: Deputy director 1971-75, Director 1975-91; Chair, Independent Inquiry for Somerset Health Authority 1989; Chief Inspector, Social Services Inspectorate, Department of Health 1991-98; Chair: Review of Management of the Prison Service 1999-2000, Independent Statutory Inquiry following the murder of Victoria Climbie 2001-03, Review of Protection of Children in England 2010

Other organizations: President, Association of Directors of Social Services 1982-83

Publications: Lessons from America: the balance of services in social care (1985)

Honours and decorations: CBE 1985; Kt 1996

Honorary academic degrees, etc: Four honorary doctorates

Supported charities: President and Patron of social care charities

Freedom: Freeman, City of London 1996

Name, Style and Title: Raised to the peerage as Baron Laming, of Tewin in the County of Hertfordshire 1998.


Baroness D’Souza CMG, Frances, created 2004.
Convenor of the Crossbench Peers 2007 - 2011.

Born: 18 April 1944. Daughter of Robert A G Russell and Pauline Russell, née Parmet.

Educated: St Mary's School, Princethorpe; University College, London (BSc anthropology 1970); Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford (DPhil evolutionary models 1976).

Married: Married Stanislaus D'Souza 1959 (divorced 1974) (2 daughters); married Martin Griffiths 1985 (divorced 1994); remarried Stanislaus D'Souza 2003.

Non-Political Career: Ford Foundation resident fellow in comparative physiology Nuffield Institute of Comparative Medicine 1973-77; Part-time lecturer London School of Economics 1973-80; Senior lecturer department of humanities Oxford Polytechnic 1977-80; Founder director and research director International Relief and Development Institute 1977-85; Independent research consultant for UN, Save the Children Fund, Ford Foundation 1985-88; Overseas Development Administration research fellow 1988-89; Executive director Article 19 anti-censorship organisation 1989-98; Redress Trust: Director 2003-04, Consultant 2004-06.

House of Lords: Convenor of the Crossbench Peers, 2007 - 2011. Procedure Committee: 2005-07, EU Sub Committee F (Home Affairs) 2005-07.

Honours: CMG, 1999.

Other organisations: Trustee, Zimbiala Trust International House; Governor, Westminster Foundation for Democracy; CMG 1999.

Supported charities: The Redress Trust.

Recreations: Music (Opera, String Quartets, Jazz and Flamenco).

Name, Style and Title: Raised to the Peerage as Baroness D'Souza, of Wychwood in the County of Oxfordshire, 2004.


Lord Williamson of Horton GCMG, CB, David, created 1999.
Convenor of the Crossbench Peers 2004 - 2007.

Born: 8 May 1934. Son of the late Samuel and Marie Williamson.

Educated: Tonbridge School; Exeter College, Oxford (BA literae humaniores 1956, MA).

Married: Patricia Margaret Smith 1961 (2 sons).

Armed Forces: Second Lieutenant, Royal Signals 1956-58.

Career: Joined Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 1958; Private Secretary to Permanent Secretary and to successive Parliamentary Secretaries 1960 - 62; HM Diplomatic Service as First Secretary (Agriculture and Food) Geneva, for Kennedy Round Trade Negotiations 1965-67; Principal Private Secretary to successive Ministers of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 1967 - 1970; Head of Milk and Milk Products Division, Marketing Policy Division and Food Policy Division 1970-74; Under-Secretary, General Agricultural Policy Group 1974-76, EEC Group 1976-77; Deputy Director-General, Agriculture, European Commission 1977-83; Deputy Secretary, Cabinet Office 1983 - 87; Secretary-General, Commission of the European Communities 1987 - 97; Visiting Professor, Bath University 1997 - 2001; Non-Executive Director, Whitbread plc 1998 - 2005.

House of Lords: Convenor of the Crossbench Peers, July 2004 - Oct 2007.

Select Committees: Member: Science and Technology Sub Committee I (Non-Food Crops) 1999-2000; Member: European Union Sub Committee C (Common Foreign and Security Policy) 1999-03; European Union Select Committee 2000-04; Chairman: European Union Sub Committee G (Social Policy and Consumer Affairs) 2003-04.

Honours: CB 1984; Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit (Germany) 1991; GCMG 1998; Commander Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Polar Star (Sweden) 1998; Commander Legion d'Honneur (France) 1999.

Other: Four honourary doctorates.

Trusts etc: Trustee, Thomson Foundation.

Charitable / voluntary posts: Co-Chair, Europe 21; Member, Wessex Regional Committee, National Trust 1998-2004; President, University Association for Contemporary European Studies 2000-03.

Name, Style and Title: Raised to the Peerage as Baron Williamson of Horton, of Horton in the County of Somerset in 1999.



Lord Craig of Radley GCB OBE, David, created 1991.
Convenor of the Crossbench Peers 1999- 2004.

Born: 17th September 1929. Son of the late Major Brownrigg Craig and Hannah Olivia (Olive) Craig.

Educated: Radley College; Lincoln College, Oxford (BA Pure Maths 1951, MA).

Married: June, daughter of the late Charles James Derenburg 12 March 1955 (1 son 1 daughter).

Armed Forces: Commissioned into RAF 1951; Served as Qualified Flying Instructor on Meteors and as Hunter Pilot in Fighter Command; CO No. 35 Squadron 1963-65; Military Assistant to Chief of Defence Staff 1965-68; Group Captain 1968; Station CO, RAF College, Cranwell 1968-70; ADC to HM the Queen 1969-71; OC, RAF Akrotiri (Cyprus) 1972-73; Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations) Ministry of Defence 1975-78; Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group 1978-80, Vice-Chief of Air Staff 1980-82; Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Strike Command and Commander-in-Chief UK Air Forces 1982-85; Chief of the Air Staff 1985-88; Air ADC to HM the Queen 1985-88; Marshal of the Royal Air Force 1988; Chief of Defence Staff 1988-91.

House of Lords: Convenor of the Crossbench Peers, December 1999- July 2004.

Select Committees: Member: Select Committee on Science and Technology 1993-98, House of Lords Offices Committee 2000-02, Finance and Staff Sub-Committee 2000-02, Administration and Works Sub-Committee 2000-02, Privileges Committee 2000-04, Liaison Committee 2000-04, Procedure Committee 2000-04, Committee of Selection 2000-04, House Committee 2000-04, Administration and Works Committee 2002-04.

Honours: OBE (Mil) 1967; CB 1978; KCB 1981, GCB (Mil) 1984. FRAeS.

Other: Hon Fellow, Lincoln College, Oxford, 1984; Hon DSc, Cranfield Institute of Technology 1988.

Special Interests: Defence.

Recreations: Golf, fishing, shooting, woodwork.

Clubs: Royal Air Force.

Name, Style and Title: Raised to the Peerage as Baron Craig of Radley, of Helhoughton in the County of Norfolk 1991.


Lord Weatherill DL, Bernard, created 1992.
Alternate Convenor of the Crossbench Peers 1993-95,
Convenor 1995-99.

Born: November 25th 1920. Son of the late Bernard Weatherill and Gertrude Weatherill (nee Creak).

Educated: Malvern College.

Married: Lyn Eatwell 1949 (2 sons 1 daughter).

Armed Forces: Commissioned 1940 in 4/7 Royal Dragoon Guards; Transferred to 19th King George V's Own Lancers (Indian Army) 1941-46; Served Burma and North-West Europe.

Career: Employed in the family business of Bernard Weatherill Ltd, Tailors of Saville Row, London, W1 1945-70, President of the Company 1992.

House of Commons: MP (Conservative) for Croydon North East 1964-83; Chairman of Ways and Means and Deputy Speaker 1979-83; Elected Speaker of the House of Commons June 15, 1983 and chosen again June 17, 1987 until retirement in 1992. Whip (Commons) Opposition Whip 1967-70; A Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury (Government Whip) 1970-71; Vice-Chamberlain HM Household 1971-72; Comptroller, HM Household 1972-73; Treasurer, HM Household and Deputy Chief Whip 1973-74; Opposition Deputy Chief Whip 1974-79.

House of Lords: Alternate Convenor of the Crossbench Peers 1993-95, Convenor 1995-99.

Select Committees: Member, Constitution Committee 2000-02; Member, Ecclesiastical Committee 2000-02; former Member, House of Lords Offices Committee; former Member of Select Committees on: Offices, Finance and Staff, Administration and Works, Liaison, Privileges, Procedure, Selection; Member, Joint Committee on House of Lords Reform 2002.

Honours: PC 1980, KStJ 1992; Vice-Chancellor, Order of St John of Jerusalem 1983-2000; Hilal-i-Pakistan 1993. Freeman: City of London 1949, Borough of Croydon 1983. Member: Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers, Merchant Taylors, Blacksmiths.

Councils, Public Bodies: DL, Kent 1992.

International Bodies: Vice-President: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Intra-Parliamentary Union.

Other: Chairman, Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers 1986-88; High Baliff of Westminster Abbey and Searcher of the Sanctuary 1989-99; Chairman, Industry and Churches Forum; President: The Institute for Citizenship, Kent County Scout Association. Hon. DCL: University of Kent, University of William and Mary USA, University of Denver, Colorado USA, Open University 1993.

Trusts Etc: Chairman: Industry and Parliamentary Trust 1993 - 2002; Trustee: The Prince's Trust, Prince's Youth Business Trust.

Miscellaneous: Hon. Bencher of Lincoln's Inn 1988 - 2007.

Publications: Acorns to Oaks, (a policy for small business) 1967.

Recreations: Tennis, Golf.

Sportsclubs: President, Lucifer Golfing Society 1992; Tandridge Golf.

Clubs: Cavalry and Guards, Reform.

Name, Style and Title: Raised to the Peerage as Baron Weatherill, of North-East Croydon in the London Borough of Croydon 1992.

Died: 5 May 2007.

Baroness Hylton-Foster, Audrey, created in 1965.
Convenor the Crossbench Peers 1974-95.

Born: 19th May 1908. Daughter of late 1st Viscount Ruffside, PC, DL, Speaker of the House of Commons 1943-51 and the late Viscountess Ruffside.

Educated: St George's Ascot; Ivy House, Wimbledon.

Married: 22nd December 1931, Rt Hon . Sir Harry Hylton-Foster, QC, MP (died 1965), Speaker of the House of Commons 1959-65.

House of Lords: Former Member of all sub-Committees of the House of Lords by virtue of her position as Convenor of the Crossbench Peers 1974-95; Member, Cross Bench Parliamentary Group 1965- 2002.

Honours: DBE 1990.

Other: Director, Chelsea Division, County of London Branch, British Red Cross Society 1950-60; President, County of London Branch, BRCS, 1960-74; Member, Executive committee, BRCS 1966-76; President and Chairman, the London Branch BRCS 1974-83; Member, Council of BRCS 1977-81, Patron, London Branch; Member, National BRCS HQ consultative panel 1984; President, Prevention of Blindness Research Fund 1965-76, Patron 1976-2002; Vice-President, Dorking and District Rifle Club, Preservation Society.

Awards Granted: BRCS Queen's Badge of Honour.

Special Interests: Social Welfare, Environment.

Recreations: Fishing, gardening.

Died: 31 October 2002.

Lord Strang of Stonesfield, William, created 1954.
Convenor of the Crossbench Peers for several years until 1974.

Born: 1893. Son of the late James Strang, Englefield, Berks.

Married: 1920, Elsie Wynne (died 1974) daughter of late JE Jones (1 son, 1 daughter).

Educated: Palmer's School; University College, London; Sorbonne. BA (London), 1912; Quain Essay, 1913.

Armed Forces: Served in European War with 4th Bn Worcestershire Regt, and HQ, 29th /div. (MBE).

Career: Entered Foreign Office, 1919; 3rd Sec., Belgrade, 1919; 2nd Sec., 1920; Foreign Office, 1923; 1st Sec., 1925; acting Counsellor of Embassy at Moscow, 1930; Counsellor, 1932; Asst Under-Sec. of State in Foreign Office, 1939-43; UK Representative on European Advisory Commission, with rank of Ambassador, 1943-45; Political Advisor to C-in-C, British Forces of Occupation in Germany, 1945-47; Permanent Under-Sec., FO (German Section), 1947-49; Permanent Under-Sec of State, Foreign Office, 1949-53; retired 1953.

Other: Fellow, University College, London, 1946; Chairman College Committee, 1963-71. Hon. LLD (London), 1954. Chairman, National Parks Commission, 1954-56; Member, Nature Conservancy, 1954-66; Chairman, Food Hygiene Advisory Council, 1955-71; Chairman, Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1958-65.

Publications: The Foreign Office, 1955; Home and Abroad, 1956; Britain in World Affairs, 1961; The Diplomatic Career, 1962.

House of Lords: Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of Committes, House of Lords, 1962. Convenor of the Crossbench Peers until 1974.

Honours: GCB 1953 (KCB 1948; CB 1939); GCMG 1950 (KCMG 1943; CMG 1932); MBE 1918.

Died: 27 May 1978.

d height="50" width="100">    100">    > Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of Committes, House of Lords, 1962. Convenor of the Crossbench Peers until 1974.

Honours: GCB 1953 (KCB 1948; CB 1939); GCMG 1950 (KCMG 1943; CMG 1932); MBE 1918.

Died: 27 May 1978.