The Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth
Official portrait of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth crop 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2018
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales
In office
27 October 2017 – 26 July 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byThe Lord Duncan of Springbank
In office
12 May 2015 – 17 June 2017
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Theresa May
Preceded byThe Baroness Randerson
Succeeded byThe Lord Duncan of Springbank
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Faith
In office
17 July 2016 – 26 July 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byEric Pickles (2015)
Succeeded byThe Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
14 June 2017 – 27 October 2017
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byThe Lord Dunlop
Succeeded byThe Lord Duncan of Springbank
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
In office
12 May 2015 – 17 July 2016
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byThe Baroness Verma
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Government Whip
In office
13 August 2014 – 17 July 2016
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byThe Baroness Northover
Succeeded byThe Baroness Mobarik
Leader of the Opposition
In office
11 July 2007 – 5 May 2011
MonarchElizabeth II
First MinisterRhodri Morgan
Carwyn Jones
Preceded byIeuan Wyn Jones
Succeeded byAndrew RT Davies
(Paul Davies Interim)
Leader of the Welsh Conservative Party
In office
18 August 1999 – 6 May 2011
DeputyAndrew R. T. Davies
LeaderWilliam Hague
Iain Duncan Smith
Michael Howard
David Cameron
Preceded byRod Richards
Succeeded byAndrew RT Davies
(Paul Davies Interim)
Member of the Senedd
for Mid and West Wales
In office
6 May 1999 – 6 May 2011
Preceded byOffice Created
Succeeded byWilliam Powell
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
9 September 2013
Life Peerage
Personal details
Nicholas Henry Bourne

(1952-01-01) 1 January 1952 (age 70)
Political partyConservative
Alma materUniversity of Wales, Aberystwyth
Trinity College, Cambridge
OccupationUniversity lecturer, politician

Nicholas Henry Bourne, Baron Bourne of Aberystwyth (born 1 January 1952) is a Conservative Party politician who served as Leader of the Welsh Conservative Party and Member of the Senedd for Mid and West Wales from August 1999 until May 2011.

During the 2011 Senedd election he unexpectedly lost his regional list seat, due to Conservative gains at constituency level. He was elevated to the House of Lords in September 2013,[1] and the following year, became a government whip.


Bourne was the first of two children of John Morgan Bourne and his wife, Joan Edith Mary Bourne. He was educated at King Edward VI School, Chelmsford; University of Wales, Aberystwyth; and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was President of Cambridge University Lawyers and Treasurer of Cambridge University Conservative Association.[2] He is the Honorary President of Aberystwyth University Conservative Future. He obtained the bachelor of laws (First Class Honours) and LLM from University of Wales and the LLM from Trinity College, Cambridge. He was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of Grays Inn.

Professional career

A former professor of law, Bourne has been Assistant Principal of Swansea Institute of Higher Education, and was a visiting lecturer at Hong Kong University and an author of various legal textbooks on Commercial and Company Law.[2]

In 2015, Bourne was made a fellow of Aberystwyth University and in 2018, he received the Honorary degree of LLD from the University of Wales, Trinity St David.

Political career

Bourne was the Conservative Party candidate in the 1984 Chesterfield by-election, having stood in the same constituency at the previous year's general election. He fought the Worcester constituency in the 1997 general election. He was the Conservatives' chief spokesman in Wales, and led the unsuccessful "Just Say NO" campaign against Welsh devolution, during the 1997 referendum. After the referendum. he served on the National Assembly Advisory Group, the body that set up the institution's working arrangements.[2]

First elected to the National Assembly for Wales in 1999, and re-elected in 2003 and 2007. Bourne headed the regional list for the Conservatives for the entire period that he was in the National Assembly. Bourne sat on the Assembly's European and External Affairs committee and was the party's spokesman on constitutional matters. He was the leader of the Welsh Conservatives from August 1999,[3] and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly from July 2007. Following a minor reshuffle in June 2008, Bourne also became the Shadow Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery remaining in the post until 22 October 2008.[4][5]

In the National Assembly, his political interests included the economy, foreign affairs, health and education. Bourne also supports charities and organizations in Wales, including the NSPCC, the National Trust, and the British Heart Foundation.

Bourne campaigned for rural communities, opposing onshore wind farm developments, the closure of post offices and small schools, and supporting improved health care provision in non-urban areas. He campaigned on issues such as the need for a referendum on plans to give the assembly law making powers and supported the campaign for more legislative powers when David Cameron granted a referendum, the future of the National Botanic Garden, and on the growing cost of government in Wales.[6] He is a member of the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body.

In 2005, he was presented with the Local Campaigner of the Year Award by BBC show AM.PM; he also won AM of the Year from ITV.

In 2011, he was nominated by the Welsh Conservatives as their representative on the Commission on Devolution in Wales, chaired by Paul Silk. He was also appointed by Edwina Hart to chair the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone from 2012 to August 2014. In addition, he served as the Conservative representative on the Williams Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery.

Bourne was created a life peer on 9 September 2013, taking the title Baron Bourne of Aberystwyth, of Aberystwyth in the County of Ceredigion, and of Wethersfield in the County of Essex.[7]

Bourne speaks at the International Energy Agency Energy and Climate Change report launch in London on June 15, 2015.
Bourne speaks at the International Energy Agency Energy and Climate Change report launch in London on June 15, 2015.

Lord Bourne was made a whip in the House of Lords on 11 August 2014, replacing Lord Bates who had been promoted as part of a mini-reshuffle following the resignation of Baroness Warsi.[8] During this period he was responsible for piloting the Pensions Schemes Bill through the House of Lords.

In May 2015, he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State jointly for DECC and the Wales Office.[9][10]

During 2017, Lord Bourne moved to the Northern Ireland Office before returning later in the year to the Wales Office, a post he continued to hold until his resignation in July 2019. At the same time, until his resignation, he was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Lord Bourne received the National "No to Hate Crime Award" for 2019 from the Anti-Hate Organisation Tell MAMA which campaigns against Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. In December 2019, Lord Bourne was appointed President of Remembering Srebrenica, a British charity initiative which is dedicated to bringing communities together to combat prejudice and intolerance. In particular, it also seeks to inculcate lessons of the genocide in Bosnia Herzegovina in 1995.


  1. ^ "Working peerages announced". 1 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "BBC News AMs profile". BBC. 1 September 1999.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 December 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Tories rush to replace Alun Cairns". Western Mail. Retrieved 17 June 2008.
  5. ^ "Greasy wops slur Tory is general election candidate". Wales Online. 22 October 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
  6. ^ "'Become more Welsh,' Tories told". BBC. Retrieved 26 June 2005.
  7. ^ "No. 60624". The London Gazette. 11 September 2013. p. 17949.
  8. ^ "Ministerial appointments: 11 August 2014". 11 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Her Majesty's Government: December 2015". 12 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Lord Bourne latest to join DECC ministerial team". Business Green. 13 May 2015.

Offices held

Senedd New creationCreation of National Assembly Member of the Senedd for Mid and West Wales 1999 – 2011 Succeeded byWilliam Powell Political offices Preceded byRod Richards Leader of the Welsh Conservative Party 1999 – 2011 Succeeded byPaul Davies(interim) Political offices Preceded byIeuan Wyn Jones Leader of the Opposition 2007 – 2011 Succeeded byPaul Davies(interim) Preceded byAngela Burns Shadow Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery 2008 14 June 2008 – 22 October 2008 Succeeded byNick Ramsay Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom Preceded byThe Lord Wrigglesworth GentlemenBaron Bourne of Aberystwyth Followed byThe Lord Whitby