GovNet Communications has an advisory board of senior parliamentary figures to give expert advice on key policy issues across our range of events. The board is chaired by Labour peer the Rt Hon Lord Foulkes of Cumnock.
Rt. Hon Lord Foulkes of Cumnock
George Foulkes is a Labour life peer. From 1979 to 2005, he was an MP for Carrick Cumnock and Doon Valley in Ayrshire. From 1983 to 1997, he was successively a Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Overseas Development. From 2007 to 2011 he was a Member of the3 Scottish Parliament for Lothians.
When Labour won in 1997 he was appointed Under Secretary of State for International Development and in 2001 as Minister of State for Scotland. In 2002 he was appointed to the Privy Council and from 2004-05 was Chairman of Heart of Midlothian Football Club. He was a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee from 2007 to 2010 and is currently on the Lord EU Select Committee and its Sub Committee on Social Policies and Consumer Protection, and is President of the Caribbean Council.
Baroness Hilary Armstrong of Hill Top
Hilary has served as an opposition frontbench spokesperson on Education (1988–1992). In 1994, she was appointed the Treasury Affairs Team. In 1995, she was made Opposition spokesperson on the Environment and London, with responsibility for Local Government.
After Labour's 1997 general election victory, she was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions with responsibility for Local Government and Housing.
As Minister for Regions she advanced the Government's regional policy helping areas such as the North East of England. She also had special responsibility for Social Exclusion and oversaw the creation of the Government’s Social Exclusion Unit.
In 1999, Hilary was made a member of the Privy Council. Following the 2001 General Election, Hilary was promoted to the Cabinet and given the cabinet position of Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Government Chief Whip. She was only the second woman to hold the position. She was re–appointed as Government Chief Whip following the 2005 General Election.
In 2006, Hilary was appointed to the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Social Exclusion. In June 2007, Hilary announced her decision to step down from the Government and return to the backbenches after 18 years as a Party spokesperson and Government Minister. She stood down as an MP on May 2010, and was elevated to the House of Lords in July 2010
Lord Archy Kirkwood of Kirkhope
Archy Kirkwood was MP for Roxburgh and Berwickshire for 22 years, standing down at the May 2005 General Election. First elected in June 1983, he became the Liberal Party’s spokesman on Health, Social Services and Social Security. In 1992, he became the Chief Whip of the Liberal Democrat parliamentary party. In 1997 Archy became Chair of the Social Security Select Committee (now Work & Pension Committee).
He served on the House of Commons Audit Committee and on the House of Commons Commission and was knighted in 2003 for services to Parliament. Archy was made a life peer in 2005. He is currently head of external relations at the office of the Liberal Democrat Leader.
Sir Robert Worcester KBE, DL
In 2005, Sir Robert Worcester was appointed by Her Majesty the Queen a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) in recognition of the "outstanding services rendered to political, social and economic research and for contribution to government policy and programmes".
Sir Robert is the Founder of MORI (Market & Opinion Research International), London. He is a Past President of the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR).
Sir Robert is Chancellor of the University of Kent and a Member of Council. He is Visiting Professor of Government and a Governor of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is President of the Institute for Business Ethics.
His book on the 2010 General Election, “Explaining Cameron’s Coalition: How it Came About”, has been published in 2011.
Lord Goodlad KCMG PC
Alastair Goodlad was born in Lincoln on July 4th 1943, the younger son of the late Dr John Goodlad, Medical Superintendent of The Lawn, Lincoln and the late Isabel Goodlad. He was educated at St Faith’s School, Cambridge, Marlborough College and King’s College, Cambridge. He served as a Conservative MP representing the Northwich Parliamentary Division from 1974 to 1983 and the Eddisbury Parliamentary Division from 1983 to 1999 during which time he served as a Government Whip and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Energy, Comptroller of Her Majesty’s Household, Treasurer of Her Majesty’s Household and Deputy Chief Whip, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Government Chief Whip, Opposition Chief Whip, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.
Alastair Goodlad served as High Commissioner in Australia from 2000 to 2005. He was Chairman of the Britain Australia Society from 2006 to 2007, and is a Trustee of the Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Trust and Chairman of the Australian Opera Capital Fund in the UK. He was Chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution in the last Parliament.
Alastair Goodlad married Cecilia Barbara Hurst in 1968. They have two sons, Magnus aged 37 and William aged 35, and two grand-daughters.
Eleanor Laing MP
Eleanor Laing has been the MP for Epping Forest since 1997. She balances her busy life in politics with being the mother of her eight year old son, Matthew. Eleanor studied law at Edinburgh University graduating BA LLB in 1982. She was the first woman to be elected President of Edinburgh University Union. She practised law in Edinburgh, in the City of London and in industry between 1983 and 1989.
Having been elected as Conservative MP for Epping Forest in May 1997, she was re-elected in 2001, 2005 and 2010. In the 1987 General election, Eleanor was the Conservative candidate in the safe Labour seat of Paisley North. She became Special Adviser to the Rt. Hon John MacGregor MP in 1989 when he was Secretary of State for Education and remained his Special Adviser when he was Leader of the House of Commons (1990-92) and Secretary of State for Transport (1992-94).
Eleanor has been on the Conservative front bench for more than ten years. She has held a variety of posts, including Opposition Whip, Shadow Minister for Children, Shadow Minister for Education, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland and Shadow Minister for Women and Equality. From July 2007 until the 2010 general election she has been Shadow Minister for Justice.