Lord Fowler was elected by Lords members as the Lord Speaker on 8 June 2016 and took office on 1 September 2016. The Lord Speaker oversees proceedings in the Lords chamber and plays a key role in the Lords Administration. The Lord Speaker also acts as an ambassador for the Lords at home and abroad, explaining and promoting the work of the House of Lords and its contribution to the UK's parliamentary system.
As Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler chairs the House of Lords Commission as well as serving on the Procedure Committee. He promotes the work of the House domestically and abroad, and has taken action to try and reach agreement on the terms by which the size of the House can be reduced.
Lord Fowler studied economics and law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he was Chairman of the Cambridge University Conservative Association. During that time he entertained both the Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, and Home Secretary, Rab Butler.
He joined The Times newspaper as a trainee in 1961 and was home affairs correspondent 1966–70. He was a member of the Editorial Board of Crossbow 1962–69.
He was elected Member of Parliament first for Nottingham South from 1970–1974 and then Sutton Coldfield from 1974–2001. He served as Minister of State and then Secretary of State for Transport under Margaret Thatcher from 1979–1981, pushing through laws which made wearing seat belts compulsory.
From 1981–1987 he served as Secretary of State for Health and Social Services, during which time he headed the department’s response to the AIDS epidemic, and overseeing the implementation of the ground-breaking ‘Don’t Die of Ignorance’ awareness campaign.
He served as Secretary of State for Employment from 1987–1990, and as Chairman of the Conservative Party from 1992–1994. He was created a life peer in 2001, as Baron Fowler, and has chaired two Lords select committees: the first in 2005–2006 examining BBC Charter Review, and the second in 2010-2011 on HIV and AIDS.
He maintains a strong interest in HIV/AIDS awareness and treatment, and continues to campaign on these issues. He is the author of three books, most recently AIDS: Don’t Die of Prejudice which was published in 2014.