30.10.18 Speaker Event – Rt Hon Mark Lancaster, TD, MP. Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
We are delighted to welcome Mark Lancaster to speak at Devonshire House on 30.10.18.
“Well Done to Mark, now second in command at Ministry for Defence.” Is how the Milton Keynes Conservative Party’s website described Mark Lancaster’s appointment in July 2017. Mark is also Conservative MP for Milton Keynes North.
About the Topic
Defence is a tricky topic. Starting with a backdrop of the huge army of the British Empire – Britannia rules the waves and the snarling-sound of the magnificent Spitfire – where exactly are we now? “Now” has recently been described as an Army with a functioning complement of about 60k, compared with its nominal strength of about 78k and its authorised strength of 82k – making it smaller than some countries we would not even want to go to on holiday.
Where should we be? What is our role in the world? Do we have the “best small army in the world?” Is our technology world class? Could we really “defend our island, whatever the cost may be?” Would we ever need to? What would we feel like if our new aircraft carriers got sunk? Should we re-introduce conscription? (Makes men/women out of boys/girls?). Is cyber-warfare the line of travel? The Russians seem to be very good at it. Maybe that is because they have an Armed Services force of about 400k and also a GDP of about half the UK’S – a social formula with a doubtful future. Are soldiers, sailors and airmen/women more technicians than fighters? And, afterwards, do ex-service men/women make the best employees/ Managers/ Entrepreneurs? If not, what not?
The Rt. Hon Mark Lancaster TD VR MP has lots to choose from to talk to us about – within what is allowed, of course!
About Mark Lancaster
The son of two school teachers, Mark was born in 1970, raised in Kimbolton near Huntingdon, educated at Kimbolton School where his father managed the family fireworks company. After school Mark spent a gap year Commission in the Army based in Hong Kong with the Queens Gurkha Engineers, before going on to read Business Studies at Buckingham University and completing an MBA at Exeter University.
He transferred his commission to the Territorial Army in 1990 and during 24 years military service has commanded a Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal Squadron and deployed on operational service to Kosovo, Bosnia and Afghanistan. He was awarded his second long service medal, marking 22 years’ service by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012 and continues to serve as a Colonel in the Royal Engineers. Mark knows about Defence.
Mark’s political career started as a local councillor in Huntingdon. At Westminster, Mark has previously held posts as Opposition Whip, Shadow Minister in the Department for International Development, Lord Commissioner of the Her Majesty’s Treasury and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Personnel and Veterans.
Shortly after his re-election in 2010, he was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Secretary of State for International Development. In September 2012 he became a government minister when he was made a Lord Commissioner of Her Majesty’s Treasury. In May 2015 Mark was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Veterans, Reserves and Personnel and held that position until June 2017, when he was appointed Minister of State for the Armed Forces.
He is married to Caroline Dinenage the MP for Gosport