Advisory Board

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

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.

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.

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.

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 Emeritus Chancellor of the University of Kent. He is Visiting Professor of Government and an Emeritus Governor of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is a Vice-President of the Institute for Business Ethics.

His latest book, on the 2015 General Election, “Explaining Cameron’s Comeback”, was published in 2016.

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.

Cheryl Gillan was elected Member of Parliament for Chesham and Amersham in April 1992. Following the General Election of May 2010 Cheryl was appointed Secretary of State for Wales.

Cheryl was born in Llandaff, Cardiff. She was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College and the College of Law. Her previous occupations include: International Management Group 1977-84; Director of British Film Year 1984-86; Senior Marketing Consultant, Ernst and Young 1986-91 and Marketing Director, Kidsons Impey 1991-1993.

Cheryl was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Lord Privy Seal, Leader of the House of Lords from 1994 until July 1995. In July 1995, she was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education and Employment. She was appointed Frontbench Spokesman for Trade and Industry in June 1997 and in June 1998 she was appointed Frontbench Spokesman for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. From September 2001 to June 2003, she was an Opposition Whip. In December 2003, she was appointed a Shadow Minister for Home, Constitutional and Legal Affairs.

In December 2005, Cheryl was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Wales and after the 2010 General Election, she was appointed Secretary of State for Wales. In September 2012 Cheryl left the Cabinet. Now a backbench MP, she has devoted her time fully to representing her Chesham and Amersham constituents, most notably in opposing proposals for the new High Speed Rail line which will cut through the constituency and the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.