Nick Bourne

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth
Official portrait of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth crop 2.jpg
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
Assumed office
9 January 2018
Prime Minister Theresa May
Sec. of State Sajid Javid
James Brokenshire
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales
Assumed office
27 October 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by The Lord Duncan of Springbank
In office
12 May 2015 – 17 June 2017
Prime Minister David Cameron
Theresa May
Preceded by Jennifer Randerson
Succeeded by The Lord Duncan of Springbank
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
at the Northern Ireland Office
In office
14 June 2017 – 27 October 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by The Lord Dunlop
Succeeded by The Lord Duncan of Springbank
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly for Wales
In office
11 July 2007 – 5 May 2011
Preceded by Ieuan Wyn Jones
Succeeded by Andrew R. T. Davies
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the National Assembly
In office
18 August 1999 – 6 May 2011
Preceded by Rod Richards
Succeeded by Andrew R. T. Davies
Member of the Welsh Assembly
for Mid and West Wales
In office
6 May 1999 – 6 May 2011
Preceded by New Assembly
Succeeded by William Powell
Personal details
Born Nicholas Henry Bourne
(1952-01-01) 1 January 1952 (age 66)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Alma mater University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Trinity College, Cambridge
Occupation University lecturer, politician

Nicholas Henry Bourne, Baron Bourne of Aberystwyth (born 1 January 1952) is a Welsh Conservative politician. He served as the Leader of the Welsh Conservative Party and as a member of the National Assembly for Wales for the Mid and West Wales electoral region from August 1999 until May 2011. During the 2011 assembly elections he unexpectedly lost his regional list seat, due to Conservative gains at constituency level. He was elevated to the House of Lords in September 2013,[1] and the following year, became a government whip.


Bourne was the first of two children of John Morgan Bourne and his wife, Joan Edith Mary Bourne. He was educated at King Edward VI School, Chelmsford; University of Wales, Aberystwyth; and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was President of Cambridge University Lawyers and Treasurer of Cambridge University Conservative Association.[2] Bourne is the Honorary President of Aberystwyth University Conservative Future.

Professional career[edit]

A former Professor of Law, Bourne has been Assistant Principal of Swansea Institute of Higher Education, is a visiting lecturer at Hong Kong University and an author.[2]

Political career[edit]

Bourne was the Conservative Party candidate in the 1984 Chesterfield by-election and stood in the same constituency at the previous year's general election. He was the Conservatives' Chief Spokesman in Wales and led the unsuccessful "Just Say NO" campaign against Welsh devolution during the 1997 referendum. After the referendum he served on the National Assembly Advisory Group the body which set up the institution's working arrangements.[2]

First elected to the National Assembly for Wales in 1999, and re-elected in 2003 and 2007, Bourne sat on the Assembly's European and External Affairs committee and was the party's spokesman on constitutional matters. He was the leader of the Welsh Conservatives from August 1999,[3] and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly from July 2007. Following a minor reshuffle in June 2008, Bourne also became the Shadow Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery remaining in the post until 22 October 2008.[4][5]

His political interests include the economy, foreign affairs, health and education. Bourne also supports charities and organizations in Wales, including the NSPCC, National Trust, and the British Heart Foundation.

Bourne has campaigned for rural communities, opposing wind farm developments, the closure of post offices and small schools, and supporting improved health care provision in non-urban areas. He campaigns on issues such as the need for a referendum on plans to give the assembly law making powers, the future of the National Botanic Garden, and on the growing cost of government in Wales.[6] He is a member of the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body.

In 2005, he was presented with the Local Campaigner of the Year Award, by BBC show AM.PM; he also won AM of the Year from ITV.

In 2011, Bourne was nominated by the Welsh Conservatives as their representative on the Commission on Devolution in Wales, chaired by Paul Silk.

On 9 September 2013, he was created a life peer taking the title Baron Bourne of Aberystwyth, of Aberystwyth in the County of Ceredigion and of Wethersfield in the County of Essex.[7]

On 11 August 2014, Lord Bourne was made a whip in the House of Lords replacing Lord Bates who had been promoted as part of a mini-reshuffle following the resignation of Baroness Warsi.[8]

In May 2015, he was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State jointly for DECC and the Wales Office.[9][10]


Bourne has been involved in two notable scandals. In September 2008, the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly published a dossier that contained personal attacks on Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan.[11] Bourne initially disassociated himself from the dossier, claiming Conservative Group staff had issued it without his knowledge or authorisation. Bourne was forced to admit later that he had signed off the dossier for publication.[12]

For a brief period Bourne's future as Leader of the Conservative Group in the National Assembly for Wales was "in the balance"[13] with media reports that Cardiff North Conservative Assembly Member Jonathan Morgan reportedly challenging Bourne for the Leadership. This speculation was heightened by Morgan refusing a change of posts in Bourne's February 2009 reshuffle of the Shadow Cabinet in the Welsh Assembly with Morgan being left without a place on Bourne's front bench.[14] However, Bourne remained leader.


  1. ^ "Working peerages announced". 1 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "BBC News AMs profile". BBC. 1 September 1999. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Tories rush to replace Alun Cairns". Western Mail. Retrieved 17 June 2008. 
  5. ^ "Greasy wops slur Tory is general election candidate". Wales Online. 22 October 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2008. 
  6. ^ "'Become more Welsh,' Tories told". BBC. Retrieved 26 June 2005. 
  7. ^ "No. 60624". The London Gazette. 11 September 2013. p. 17949. 
  8. ^ "Ministerial appointments: 11 August 2014". 11 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Her Majesty's Government: December 2015". 12 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Lord Bourne latest to join DECC ministerial team". Business Green. 13 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Morgan ignores Tory clown insult". BBC. Retrieved 1 April 2009. 
  12. ^ "Bourne apology for Morgan attack". BBC. Retrieved 1 April 2009. 
  13. ^ "Bourne's future 'in the balance'". BBC. Retrieved 1 April 2009. 
  14. ^ "Two Tories reject Bourne offers". BBC. Retrieved 1 April 2009. 

Offices held[edit]

National Assembly for Wales
New creation
Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales
1999 – 2011
Succeeded by
William Powell
Political offices
Preceded by
Rod Richards
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the National Assembly
1999 – 2011
Succeeded by
Paul Davies
Political offices
Preceded by
Ieuan Wyn Jones
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly
2007 – 2011
Succeeded by
Paul Davies
Preceded by
Angela Burns
Shadow Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery
14 June 2008 – 22 October 2008
Succeeded by
Nick Ramsay