Ex-MI5 boss and spy becomes Lord of Minsmere

The Love Minsmere: The Live Event hoped to raise the profile of the area Picture: ARCHANT

Lord Andrew Parker is now Baron of Minsmere in Suffolk - Credit: Gregg Brown

A man who was Britain's most senior spy until last year has become a Lord in Suffolk - after taking on the title of Baron of Minsmere.

Lord Andrew Parker was director general of the Security Service, commonly known as MI5, for seven years before stepping down in 2020.

He led a distinguished career as a spy, with his biography on the gov.uk website recalling how his teams helped foil an al-Qa'ida terrorist plot in 2006 to hide bombs in drinks bottles on airliners.

As director, international terrorism at MI5 between 2005 and 2007, he led the service's response to the 2005 terrorist bombings in London, as well as an expansion of the Security Service's counter terrorism strategy and the development of its regional network.

Before being appointed to the top job, he served as deputy director general at MI5 for six years.

Lord Parker has been made a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords so he can take on the role of Lord Chamberlain, a non-executive and part-time job overseeing the conduct and general business of the Royal Household.

A statement from the Royal Household confirming his appointment said the Lord Chamberlain would be "acting as the channel of communication between the Sovereign and the House of Lords".

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His role will also include ceremonial duties.

Newly-appointed Lords can choose a place they would like to be associated with, even if they do not live there - provided that area is not already taken by another peer.

A clue as to why Lord Parker might have chosen Minsmere comes on his gov.uk biography page, which says: "He enjoys the outdoors and is a keen ornithologist and wildlife photographer."

RSPB Minsmere. Picture: SIMON PARKER

RSPB Minsmere is home to a variety of birds, including avocets, bearded tits and bitterns - Credit: Archant

The 1,000acre Minsmere nature reserve, run by the RSPB, attracts visitors from far and wide is home to a variety of birds, including avocets, bearded tits and bitterns - although there are fears a new nuclear power station at Sizewell C could threaten the outstanding natural habitat.

Lord Parker was introduced to the House of Lords on Tuesday, February 9 and took an oath.

He was supported by his two predecessors as director general of MI5 - Baroness Manningham-Buller and Lord Evans of Weardale.

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