James has been appointed to the position of ‘Vice Chamberlain to Her Majesty’s Household’ today, as part of a wide Ministerial reshuffle carried out by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
He will now also serve as a senior Government Whip, following a promotion from his previous role as a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury. This gives James a key role in helping to steer the Government’s legislative agenda through Parliament. but his new position as Vice Chamberlain also involves ceremonial duties. This includes writing to HM The Queen on each day that the House of Commons is sitting, advising her of proceedings and the outcome of votes.
Another ceremonial part of the role will see James ‘taken hostage’ during the State Opening of Parliament, waiting in the Lord Chamberlain’s Office at Buckingham Palace until the Queen has safely returned. This is a custom that dates back to the Restoration of the Stuart Monarchy in 1660, following the Commons’ vote to have Charles I executed.
“I was very honoured to be asked to take up this role, which is steeped in history and I look forward to the new responsibilities it brings", said James. “My main day-to-day role will be continuing help steer Government business through the House of Commons, including legislation to improve our democracy, keep our country safer and deliver on our ‘levelling up’ agenda. I look forward to working with new and existing colleagues in the Whip’s Office as we look to meet the challenges our country faces.
“I will of course continue to stand up for Halesowen & Rowley Regis and champion local people and organisations wherever I can, representing the needs and interests of my constituents to colleagues in Government.”
James has been serving in the Government Whips Office since July 2019 when Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, first as an Assistant Government Whip, and then as a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury and Government Whip between February 2020 and September 2021.