The Chief Whip of the Labour Party oversees the whipping system in the party, which is responsible for ensuring that Labour 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 Chief Whip manages a team of whips, who they may appoint from the Parliamentary Labour Party, to support the work of the whips’ office.

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

The role of Chief Whip is regarded as secretive, as the Whip is concerned with the discipline of their own party's Members of Parliament.

By convention, Chief Whips do not sign early day motions or table questions to Ministers. Nor do they give media interviews in their capacity as whip.

This is a list of those people who have served as Chief Whip of the Labour Party in the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

House of Commons

Chief Whip of the
Labour Party
House of Commons of the United Kingdom.svg
Official portrait of Rt Hon Sir Alan Campbell MP crop 2.jpg
Alan Campbell

since 9 May 2021
AppointerLeader of the
Labour Party
Inaugural holderDavid Shackleton
Formationcirca 1906
Year Name Constituency
1906 David Shackleton Clitheroe
1906 Arthur Henderson Barnard Castle
1907 George Roberts Norwich
1914 Arthur Henderson Barnard Castle
1914 Frank Goldstone Sunderland
1916 George Roberts Norwich
1919 William Tyson Wilson Westhoughton
1920 Arthur Henderson Widnes
1924 Benjamin Spoor Bishop Auckland
1925 Arthur Henderson Burnley
1927 Thomas Kennedy Kirkcaldy Burghs
1931 Charles Edwards Bedwellty
1942 William Whiteley Blaydon
1955 Herbert Bowden Leicester South West
1964 Edward Short Newcastle upon Tyne Central
1966 John Silkin Deptford
1969 Robert Mellish Bermondsey
1976 Michael Cocks Bristol South
1985 Derek Foster Bishop Auckland
1995 Donald Dewar Glasgow Garscadden
1997 Nick Brown Newcastle upon Tyne East and Wallsend
1998 Ann Taylor Dewsbury
2001 Hilary Armstrong Durham North West
2006 Jacqui Smith Redditch
2007 Geoff Hoon Ashfield
2008 Nick Brown Newcastle upon Tyne East
2010 Dame Rosie Winterton Doncaster Central
2016 Nick Brown Newcastle upon Tyne East
2021 Sir Alan Campbell Tynemouth

Current Deputy Chief Whip

House of Lords

Chief Whip of the
Labour Party
House of Lords.svg
Official portrait of Lord Kennedy of Southwark crop 2.1, 2019.jpg
The Lord Kennedy of Southwark

since 1 June 2021
Inaugural holderThe Lord Muir-Mackenzie and The Earl De La Warr
Year Name
Feb 1924 The Lord Muir-Mackenzie
Feb 1924 The Earl De La Warr
1930 The Lord Marley
1937 The Lord Strabolgi
1941 The Earl of Listowel
1944 The Lord Southwood
1945 The Lord Ammon
1949 The 1st Lord Shepherd
1954 The Earl of Lucan
1964 The 2nd Lord Shepherd
1967 The Lord Beswick
1973 The Baroness Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe
1982 The Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede
1990 The Lord Graham of Edmonton
1997 The Lord Carter
2002 The Lord Grocott
2008 The Baroness Royall of Blaisdon
2008 The Lord Bassam of Brighton
2018 The Lord McAvoy
2021 The Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Deputy Chief Whip

Main article: Opposition Deputy Chief Whip in House of Lords

See also


  • Chris Cook and Brendan Keith, British Historical Facts 1830-1900, Macmillan, 1975
  • David Butler and Gareth Butler, Twentieth-Century British Historical Facts 1900-2000, Macmillan, 2000