Paul Drayson, Baron Drayson
The Lord Drayson
Lord Drayson signing a memorandum. (2006)
|Minister of State for Strategic Defence Acquisition Reform|
8 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
|Prime Minister||Gordon Brown|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Minister of State for Science and Innovation|
3 October 2008 – 11 May 2010
|Prime Minister||Gordon Brown|
|Preceded by||Ian Pearson|
|Succeeded by||David Willetts (Universities and Science)|
|Minister of State for Defence Equipment and Support|
6 May 2005 – 7 November 2007
|Prime Minister||Tony Blair|
|Preceded by||The Lord Bach|
|Succeeded by||The Baroness Taylor of Bolton|
|Born||5 March 1960|
|Relations||Brian Bellhouse (father-in-law)|
|Residence||Nether Lypiatt Manor|
|Alma mater||Aston University|
|24 Hours of Le Mans career|
|Best finish||28th/NC (2010)|
Paul Rudd Drayson, Baron Drayson FREng PC (born 5 March 1960), is a British businessman, amateur racing driver and Labour politician. He was Minister of Science in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills until May 2010, where he replaced Ian Pearson. In June 2009 he was additionally appointed as Minister of State for Strategic Defence Acquisition Reform at the Ministry of Defence. After losing his ministerial positions in the General Election 2010 he decided to devote himself totally towards his motorsports company Drayson Racing Technology. He is chairman and CEO of Drayson Technologies Ltd.
Early life and career
After attending St Dunstan's College, Paul Drayson graduated from Aston University in Production Engineering, followed in 1986 by a PhD in robotics. From 1986 to 1991 he was managing director of the Lambourn Food Company. From 1992 to 1998 he was managing director of Justin de Blank Ltd.
Between 2001 and 2002 he was the Chairman of the BioIndustry Association. From 2002–2005 he was chairman of the fundraising campaign to build a children's hospital at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. Since 2003, he has been the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Said Business School, Oxford University.
Drayson has been a large contributor to the Labour Party, with BBC News reporting in 2005 that he "was made a lord and then the UK defence procurement minister after giving New Labour more than £1m."  He donated £100,000 in 2002 before PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc was awarded a £32 million contract for a smallpox vaccine. He donated £505,000 on 17 June 2004 six weeks after being appointed to the House of Lords by Tony Blair and a further £500,000 on 21 December 2004.
In May 2005 Drayson replaced Lord Bach as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Procurement and as Government Spokesman for Defence to the House of Lords. Drayson's responsibility for defence procurement in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was one of the most high-profile jobs in the MoD. His remit included oversight of the Defence Procurement Agency and Defence Logistics Organisation. In December 2005 Drayson published a report entitled The Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS).
On 6 March 2007 Drayson was promoted to Minister of State for Defence Equipment and Support. He oversaw the new Defence Equipment and Support Organisation. On 29 June 2007 he also became a Minister of State in the newly created Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, combining this with his role in the Ministry of Defence. He stood down from ministerial responsibilities on 7 November 2007. His official reason for stepping down was his wish to participate in the Le Mans race, but it has been reported that the actual reasons were being left out of the loop when Prime Minister Gordon Brown decided to disband the Defence Export Services Organisation and equipment budget deficits which would make the follow-up to the DIS largely irrelevant. His job as Defence Procurement Minister was transferred to Lady Taylor.
He rejoined the Brown government as Minister of State for Science and Innovation in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills on 3 October 2008 following a cabinet reshuffle.
Drayson is married to Elspeth Bellhouse, the daughter of scientist Brian Bellhouse. They have five children, and live between homes in London and Nether Lypiatt Manor near Stroud in Gloucestershire, purchased for £5.75 million in 2006 from TRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.
Self-described as a "car nut and I'm a Government minister", he has owned an Aston Martin Vanquish, his wife an Aston Martin DB9, and his collection includes a Lotus Elan. He has also raced a bio-ethanol powered Aston Martin DBRS9 GT3-spec race car for Barwell Motorsport in the British GT Championship. He competed in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
Drayson was born blind in one eye which, under FIA rules, prevented him from acquiring an international racing licence for participation in the Le Mans 24 Hours. In light of his performance during the 2008 ALMS season and FIA rule changes, he was granted an international licence to allow him the chance of competing in the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans. Drayson finished 37th overall and 12th in class at the race. He also competed at the 2010 event but failed to finish.
Drayson has currently competed in two seasons of the ALMS with a best finish of a win at the 2010 Road America race in a LMP Lola B09/60. For 2011, Drayson made the switch to the EV Cup, a new championship for electric cars. He will drive a Westfield iRACER.
24 Hours of Le Mans results
|2009||Drayson Racing|| Jonny Cocker
|Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT2||GT2||272||DNF||DNF|
|2010||Drayson Racing|| Jonny Cocker
He was elevated to the House of Lords in May 2004, made a working peer entitled Baron Drayson, of Kensington in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. In July 2011, Drayson was elected as Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering, the UK's national academy for engineering.
- "List of Fellows".
- The Independent: Lord Drayson – Britain's top gun
- MOD Website: Minister of State for Strategic Defence Acquisition Reform
- John Dagys, "10 Questions With Paul Drayson", speedtv.com Archived 30 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- Vaughan, Adam (4 August 2013). "Lord Drayson takes on UK air pollution crisis with new smart sensor". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- "Press release: ASTON UNIVERSITY PHD GRADUATE APPOINTED MINISTER FOR SCIENCE". Aston University. 7 October 2008. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011.
- Saunders, Andrew (6 July 2016). "Lord Drayson on new Freevolt technology that could power devices for free". Managementtoday.co.uk. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
- Elliot Choueka (17 November 2005). "The irresistible rise of 'Tony's crony'". Retrieved 26 June 2013.
- Peston, Robert (September 2008). Who Runs Britain?. London: Hodder & Stoughton. p. 275. ISBN 9780340839447.
- Lord Drayson appointed minister Archived 20 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- UK DIS falls into abeyance as Drayson decides to quit, Jane's Defence Weekly, 14 November 2007, p. 5
- "Minister quits to race in Le Mans". BBC News. 7 November 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2007.
- Amos, Jonathan (3 October 2008). "Lord Drayson takes science brief". BBC News. Retrieved 4 October 2008.
- Andrew Clark. "Interview: Paul Drayson, Powderject Pharmaceuticals | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
- Prufrock column, The Sunday Times, 23 July 2006.
- On the move: Lord Drayson Sunday Times – 20 October 2007
- www.barwellmotorsport.co.uk, Barwell Motorsport
- Drayson Racing News and Notes for 24 Hours of Le Mans Aston Martin Racing
- Matt Beer (23 February 2011). "Drayson quits ALMS for electric series". Autosport.com. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paul Drayson.|
- Britain buys up stocks of smallpox vaccine – April 2002
- Labour claims unravel over vaccine deal – April 2002
- Driving force, Profile of Lord Drayson FREng, Ingenia, Issue 50, Mar 2012
- Drayson Racing Technology
The Lord Bach
| Minister of State for Defence Equipment and Support
The Baroness Taylor of Bolton
| Minister of State for Science and Innovation
as Minister of State for Universities and Science
|New creation|| Minister of State for Strategic Defence Acquisition Reform