He was created a life peer in June 1985 as Baron Sanderson of Bowden, of Melrose in the District of Ettrick and Lauderdale and speaks regularly in the House of Lords. From 1987 to 1990 he was a Minister of State in the Scottish Office, responsible for housing, agriculture and fisheries. He also served as Chairman of the Conservative Party in Scotland in the early 1990s, and was seen as responsible for removing Michael Forsyth from the Scottish Office and other right-wingers from the Party's Central Office in Scotland.
In 2010 he was appointed to lead a review into the future of the Conservative Party in Scotland. This followed the 2010 United Kingdom general election, where despite winning a plurality of seats in the House of Commons, the Conservatives won only one constituency in Scotland. Sanderson's report recommended an overhaul of leadership, with a separately elected leader to take full responsibility of the party's performance in Scotland. A formal response from the party is expected in early 2011.
Arms of Charles Sanderson, Baron Sanderson of Bowden
A Cock Or armed crested and wattled Sable supporting in the dexter claw a Buckle of the first
Per pale dexter bendy Sable and Or sinister Azure a Chevron per pale Azure and Or in dexter chief a Ram's Head affrontée Argent horned Gules in sinister chief a Fleur-de-lys issuant from a Crescent Argent
Dexter: a Connemara Pony proper; Sinister: a Cashmere Goat proper