The Chief Whip of the Conservative Party oversees the whipping system in the party, which is responsible for ensuring that Conservative MPs or members of the House of Lords attend and vote in parliament in the desired way of the party leadership. Chief Whips, of which two are appointed in the party, a member of the House of Commons and a member of the House of Lords, also help to organise their party's contribution to parliamentary business.

The party leadership may allow members to have a free vote based on their own conscience rather than party policy, which means the chief whip is not required to influence the way members vote.

This is a list of people who have served as Chief Whip of the Conservative Party, previously the Tory Party, in the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

The position is currently held by Simon Hart MP, appointed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on 25 October 2022.

House of Commons

Chief Whip of the
Conservative Party
Simon Hart MP
since 25 October 2022
AppointerLeader of the
Conservative Party
Inaugural holderWilliam Holmes
Formationcirca 1802
No. Year Name Constituency
1 circa 1802 William Holmes Haslemere
2 1835 Sir George Clerk Midlothian (Edinburghshire)
3 1837 Sir Thomas Francis Fremantle Buckingham
4 1844 Sir John Young Cavan
5 1846 William Beresford Harwich
6 1850 Forbes Mackenzie Peeblesshire
7 1853 Sir William Jolliffe Petersfield
8 1859 Colonel Thomas Edward Taylor Dublin County
9 1868 Gerard Noel Rutland
10 1873 Colonel Thomas Edward Taylor Dublin County
11 1874 Sir William Hart Dyke Mid Kent
12 1880 Rowland Winn North Lincolnshire
13 1885 Aretas Akers-Douglas St Augustine's
14 1895 Sir William Hood Walrond Tiverton
15 1902 Sir Alexander Acland Hood Wellington
16 1911 Lord Balcarres Chorley
17 1913 Lord Edmund Talbot Chichester
18 1921 Leslie Wilson Reading
19 1923 Bolton Eyres-Monsell (knighted in 1929) Evesham
20 1931 David Margesson Rugby
21 1941 James Stuart Moray and Nairn
22 1948 Patrick Buchan-Hepburn East Toxteth
23 1955 Edward Heath Bexley
24 1959 Martin Redmayne Rushcliffe
25 1964 William Whitelaw Penrith and The Border
26 1970 Francis Pym Cambridgeshire
27 1973 Humphrey Atkins Spelthorne
28 1979 Michael Jopling Westmorland
29 1983 John Wakeham Colchester and Maldon
30 1987 David Waddington Ribble Valley
31 1989 Timothy Renton Mid Sussex
32 1990 Richard Ryder Mid Norfolk
33 1994 Alastair Goodlad Eddisbury
34 1997 James Arbuthnot North East Hampshire
35 2001 David Maclean Penrith and The Border
36 2005 Patrick McLoughlin West Derbyshire (2005–2010)
Derbyshire Dales (2010–2012)
37 2012 (September) Andrew Mitchell Sutton Coldfield
38 2012 (October) Sir George Young North West Hampshire
39 2014 Michael Gove Surrey Heath
40 2015 Mark Harper Forest of Dean
41 2016–17 Gavin Williamson South Staffordshire
42 2017–2019 Julian Smith Skipton and Ripon
43 2019–2022 (February) Mark Spencer Sherwood
44 2022 (until September) Chris Heaton-Harris Daventry
45 2022 (September-October) Wendy Morton Aldridge-Brownhills
46 2022 (from October–present) Simon Hart Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire

House of Lords

Chief Whip of the
Conservative Party
The Baroness Williams of Trafford
since 7 September 2022
AppointerLeader of the
Conservative Party
Inaugural holderThe 3rd Earl Nelson
Formationbefore 1852
No. Year Name
1 before 1852 The Earl Nelson
2 1852 The Lord Colville of Culross
3 c.1870 The Lord Skelmersdale (created Earl of Lathom in 1880)
4 1885 The Earl of Kintore
5 1889 The Earl of Limerick
6 1896 The Earl Waldegrave
7 1911 The Duke of Devonshire
8 1916 The Lord Hylton
9 1922 The Earl of Clarendon
10 1925 The Earl of Plymouth
11 1929 The Earl of Lucan
12 1940 The Lord Templemore
13 1945 The Earl Fortescue
14 1957 The Earl St Aldwyn
15 1977 The Lord Denham
16 1991 The Lord Hesketh
17 1993 The Viscount Ullswater
18 1994 The Lord Strathclyde
19 1998 The Lord Henley
20 2001 The Lord Cope of Berkeley
21 2007 The Lady Anelay of St Johns
22 2014 The Lord Taylor of Holbeach
23 2019 The Lord Ashton of Hyde
24 2022 The Baroness Williams of Trafford

In popular culture

Francis Urquhart is a fictional Conservative Chief Whip, created by Michael Dobbs, formerly Chief of Staff for British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Urquhart was the main character in Dobbs's trilogy of books, that were turned into successful BBC television dramas in the 1990s. The first book in the trilogy, House of Cards, was adapted and broadcast by the BBC in 1990. This was subsequently followed by a 1993 adaptation of the second element of the trilogy, To Play The King. The third part The Final Cut, aired in 1995. The trilogy charts Urquhart's ambitious rise through his party's ranks until he becomes Prime Minister. Urquhart was played by Ian Richardson.

See also