Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom Portrait

Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom

Conservative - Life peer

Became Member: 1st October 2015


Risk Assessment and Risk Planning Committee
15th Oct 2020 - 24th Nov 2021
EU Security and Justice Sub-Committee
23rd Apr 2020 - 31st Mar 2021
EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee
2nd Jul 2019 - 23rd Apr 2020
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
13th Jan 2010 - 16th Jun 2014
Defence Committee
11th Jul 2005 - 28th Apr 2014
Liaison Committee (Commons)
11th Jul 2005 - 28th Apr 2014
Armed Forces Bill Committee
17th Jan 2011 - 8th Mar 2011
Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament
30th Jul 2001 - 26th Jan 2006
Shadow Minister (Trade and Industry)
1st Feb 2005 - 31st Oct 2005
Shadow Secretary of State (Trade and Industry)
8th Nov 2003 - 10th May 2005
House of Lords Reform (Joint Committee)
19th Jun 2002 - 16th Jul 2003
Shadow Chief Whip (Commons)
11th Jun 1997 - 7th Jun 2001
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Procurement)
6th Jul 1995 - 1st May 1997
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Social Security)
20th Jul 1994 - 6th Jul 1995
Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
15th Apr 1992 - 20th Jul 1994


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom has voted in 348 divisions, and 5 times against the majority of their Party.

9 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 44 Conservative No votes vs 147 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 165 Noes - 433
9 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 38 Conservative No votes vs 134 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 148 Noes - 407
20 Oct 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 39 Conservative Aye votes vs 158 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 395 Noes - 169
15 May 2023 - Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 147 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 245 Noes - 154
17 May 2023 - Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 15 Conservative Aye votes vs 155 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 231 Noes - 167
View All Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
(20 debate interactions)
Lord Offord of Garvel (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
(9 debate interactions)
Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
(5 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Business and Trade
(11 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(6 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


Latest 15 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
21st Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government on which department's accounts their commitment to fund compensation for sub-postmasters affected by issues arising from the Horizon software system appears.

Just over £1bn has been committed by Government to ensure postmasters are compensated fairly. This funding covers the three Horizon compensation schemes: the Overturned Convictions scheme, the Group Litigation Order Scheme, and the Horizon Shortfall Scheme. Funding is agreed by HM Treasury at the relevant Estimate on the basis of the Department for Business and Trade’s forecasts for compensation.

A provision was made in the 2022/23 accounts of the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Provisions should not be seen as an indication of the total amount of money available for compensation or how much claimants will receive; they are an estimate based on the latest information available.

The total discounted liability as at 31 March 2023 for sub-postmasters affected by issues arising from the Horizon software system was estimated at £600 million. This provision has subsequently transferred over to the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and an updated value will be reflected in the department’s 2023-24 annual report and accounts to reflect policy announcements and changes since last years accounts.

Provision values will not include compensation paid to date. Annual accounts are produced on an accruals basis and compensation payments are recognised on this basis.

Lord Offord of Garvel
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether in incurring potential liabilities on the group litigation against Alan Bates and others which concluded in 2019, the Post Office required authorisation from the Government; and if so, what authorisation was needed and from whom; and whether such authorisation was granted.

Under its Articles of Association, the Post Office is required to gain prior written consent from the Shareholder before entering into a transaction which involves the incurrence of a commitment, liability or payment of a sum in excess of £50 million. Officials have checked our records and have seen no evidence of any such written consent.

Lord Offord of Garvel
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
6th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 6 June (HL7991), what assessment they have made of (1) the size and power of the coronal mass ejection (CME) of 12 March in comparison to that of the “Carrington Event” of 1859, and (2) the impact this CME would have had if it had travelled towards, rather than away from, the Earth.

The Met Office is responsible for advising the Government of the likelihood and impact of Severe Space Weather, such as coronal mass ejections. An event like that of 12 March travelling towards Earth would have global impacts on key sectors including energy, telecommunications and transport. The Met Office Severe Space Weather Scales set out further information on the potential impacts.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent assessment they have made of the reasonable worst case scenario for a solar flare; and what consideration they have given to (1) the Carrington Event of 1859, and (2) the coronal mass ejection of 12 March 2023.

The National Security Risk Assessment includes the reasonable worst case scenario assessing the impacts of severe space weather phenomena, such as solar flares, on essential services. This was updated in 2022 and reflects the latest scientific and engineering knowledge, including appropriate historical data from the Carrington Event.

Met Office modelling suggests that the coronal mass ejection of 12 March 2023 erupted from the far-side of the Sun travelling away from the Earth, at a similar speed to the Carrington event of 1859.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Post Office will be permitted to demand confidentiality in the Post Office Horizon Alternative Dispute Resolution.

In principle, Post Office will be permitted to demand confidentiality; however, this is a legal matter and will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the size of the compensation cost connected to the Post Office Horizon scandal, and (2) the extent to which the Post Office remains a going concern.

BEIS Secretary of State is the 100% shareholder of Post Office and in this capacity he has agreed to help fund the Historical Shortfall Scheme and to fund the compensation for postmasters with overturned Horizon-related convictions.

An initial estimate of £233 million of maximum budget cover from the Government for Historical Shortfall Scheme compensation payments was published by BEIS, as is required, on the TCA subsidy website. This was an estimate of maximum budget cover potentially required from Government and is not an estimate of likely outturn in settlement costs. The £153 million provision included in the 2019/20 Post Office accounts provides the best estimate of likely overall compensation spend under the Historical Shortfall Scheme, some of which will be paid by Post Office and some of which will be paid by Government.

BEIS also published on the TCA subsidy website an estimate of maximum potential Government spend of £780 million to cover both the interim payments of up to £100k to be paid within 28 days of an overturned Horizon-related conviction and the final settlements for these postmasters. This is not, however, an estimate of the likely spend on these settlement costs. Actual compensation costs for postmasters with overturned criminal convictions will be determined by the total number of overturned convictions over time and the individual settlements reached. As was the case on the Historical Shortfall Scheme, I expect that Post Office will publish a more accurate estimate of these compensation costs as a provision in its forthcoming annual report and accounts.

Post Office Limited confirmed in its Annual Report and Accounts in March 2021 that it is a going concern. The next Annual Report and Accounts should be published before the end of March 2022

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the cases will be pursued (1) in parallel, or (2) sequentially, in the Post Office Horizon Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Cases being subject to the Alternative Dispute Resolution process are being handled in parallel.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what provision they will make for oversight, independent of the Post Office and Government, of the Alternative Dispute Resolutions in the Horizon compensation cases.

The Government will monitor the Post Office’s progress on compensation cases as well as the approach being taken when making offers of compensation and track for consistency and fairness. Furthermore, a QC or other suitably qualified legal professional will review the proposed approach for assessing claims for at least an initial cohort of cases, and will be available to advise POL and the Government on issues arising as required.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government who has held the post of Accounting Officer with responsibility for the Post Office since 1 January 2000, and what were their dates of service in that role.

The Principal Account Officer (PAO) responsible for the Post Office is the Permanent Secretary of the respective department that holds the shareholding of Post Office Ltd (POL). Before its separation in 2012, POL was part of Royal Mail Group. This would be the Permanent Secretaries from the following departments:

Department for Trade & Industry (2000 – 2007)

Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (2007 – 2009)

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (2009 – 2016)

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (2016 – Present)

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any significant initiatives, policies, programmes or projects of the Post Office were overseen by the Government since 1 January 2000; and if so, what they were and how were they managed.

The Government has not overseen any specific project at the Post Office. It is important that the company is allowed to run as an independent, commercial business, albeit in compliance with the principles set out in Managing Public Money.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has appointed a Non-Executive Director (NED) on the POL Board since its separation from Royal Mail in 2012. From 2014 onwards this role has been performed by UKGI (previously the Shareholder Executive).

Before 2012, there was no representation at Board level (within Royal Mail Group). The Shareholder Executive provided a monitoring function and reported to the relevant department (BEIS, BIS, BERR and DTI).

The BEIS Permanent Secretary has some key controls of the Post Office – namely approval of the annual business plan, some financing aspects of the company and approval of any specific commitments above £50m.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Accounting Officer with responsibility for the Post Office has played any role in advising ministers on the Government’s policy in relation to (1) the faults in Horizon software; (2) the treatment by the Post Office of sub-postmasters in relation to allegations of alleged criminal behaviour by sub-postmasters; (3) the sub-postmasters’ litigation against the Post Office; and (4) the establishment of the review into the Horizon issues.

The Principal Accounting Officer (PAO) responsible for Post Office Ltd. (POL) is the BEIS Permanent Secretary.

Issues regarding POL’s IT system and its relationship with postmasters are operational matters in which the PAO and Ministers relied on information provided by POL senior management.

Following the Common Issues Judgment in March 2019, POL advised Ministers that it intended to change its approach to the litigation. This included changes to the POL legal team and strategy, and ultimately led to the successful mediation in December 2019.

The Independent Review into Post Office and the issues highlighted by the litigation was approved within Government at all levels, including by the BEIS Permanent Secretary.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what support they are providing to the government of Israel regarding reports of Hamas smuggling weapons and explosive materials across the Gaza border.

The UK is resolute in its commitment to Israel's security. Our position on Hamas is clear: we condemn Hamas' attacks against civilians which are unacceptable and unjustifiable. We unequivocally condemn the use and possession of indiscriminate weapons by militant groups in Gaza. Hamas and other terrorist groups must cease their campaign of violence, for which there is no justification. Such activity compromises the region's security, its ability to prosper and escalates already high tensions, with consequences for the international community. Hamas must renounce violence, recognise Israel and accept previously signed agreements. In the 2030 Roadmap for UK-Israel bilateral relations, signed by the Foreign Secretary and his Israeli counterpart earlier this year, the governments of the UK and Israel have stated that we will continue to work together to keep our people safe from cyber, criminal and terrorist threats.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by The Earl of Minto on 27 November 2023 (HL200), what assessment they have made of the accuracy of report of the Board of Inquiry into the Nimrod crash on 2 September 1995, taking into consideration the rules pertaining to such boards of inquiry at that time, and its finding that Flight Lieutenant Dominic Gilbert was to blame for the crash.

It is not possible to re-consider aspects of Boards of Inquiry held in the past without full reinvestigation of the original incident. It would not be in the public interest to re-open any such inquiries, where it is deemed there are no lessons to be identified for the Service, such as when aircraft are no longer in service. The likely complexity of such work due to the passage of time and the need to re-allocate Departmental resources are also significant considerations.

In 1997 Defence Ministers directed that BOI should not be permitted to attribute blame or negligence in cases of unnatural death or serious injury. Subsequently, in 2008, Boards of Inquiry were replaced by Service Inquiries under the Armed Forces Act 2006, separating accident investigation from the operational chain of command.

Service Inquiries (SI) are not permitted to find negligence or apportion blame, in order to encourage an open reporting culture, and to ensure that full and frank evidence be provided to SI panels.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
13th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the conclusions of the Boards of Inquiry into the fatal accidents of (1) the Chinook crash on 2 June 1994 and (2) the Nimrod crash on 2 September 1995, what assessment they have made of the similarities between the conclusions reached on human failings in each report.

As the noble Lord will be aware, Lord Philip’s independent review of 2011 into the Mull of Kintyre accident of 1994 was instrumental in the replacement of Boards of Inquiry with Service Inquiries. A Service Inquiry is an inquiry held under statute and seeks to identify where there are lessons to help prevent recurrence. As such, Service Inquiries are not permitted to apportion blame or find negligence.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)