Skip navigation

The Eldon Lecture: Lord Parker of Minsmere KCB, former Director General of MI5



Add to Calendar

Mi5understood: Law, Liberty & Licence

Lord Parker will discuss the interaction of law and liberty in MI5’s work drawing on practical experience across nearly four decades. He aims to inform, provoke and challenge. He will tackle such questions as: Is there a balance between security and liberty? How does oversight help? How are proportion and perspective brought? What is the place of ethics? Does the law licence or constrain? Along the way he will talk about pitfalls and challenge some popular misconceptions.

About the Speaker

Lord Parker of Minsmere KCB was Director General of MI5 for seven years, the culmination of 37 years working for the Security Service.

Leading MI5 through many acute security challenges, Lord Parker built a reputation for delivering success through operational excellence, close partnerships, and modernising MI5’s leadership culture, with a focus on calm, people-centred responses to even the most dramatic of crises. He sharpened MI5’s mission-based drive, founded on clear shared values and a determined commitment to practical inclusion.

Lord Parker was knighted in 2019. He was granted a Life Peerage and appointed to the House of Lords in December 2020.  He is a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB), and holds the Légion d’Honneur (France), Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Portugal), and Medal of Honour (Estonia).

He grew up in Newcastle, was educated at a local comprehensive school, and gained a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge before joining MI5 in 1983. He retired from MI5 in April 2020.

Lord Parker is currently pursuing a portfolio career. He is a non-executive director of Babcock International Group, an adviser to Telicent, a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute and Visiting Professor at Northumbria University. He was recently selected by HM The Queen as Her Majesty’s next Lord Chamberlain, a part-time non-executive role which he will take up on 1 April 2021.

Learn more about Lord Parker's Visiting Professorship at Northumbria.

To register for this free online session, please fill in the form below. Please note that you will need Google Chrome for this session.


Event Details



a sign in front of a crowd

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

a person sitting at a table

Order your prospectus

If you would like to know more about our courses, or life in general as a student at Northumbria, then we can help you.

Latest News and Features

CIS thumbnail
Professor Mike Lim undertaking research in Canada’s Inuit Nunangat. Image credit Weronika Murray
Black-necked spitting cobra
Dr Mark Goddard.
Professor Matthew Johnson has been involved in research which has modelled the impact a Universal Basic Income could have on poverty and inequality.
Northumbria University has launched a new report that sets out its social impact and identifies where it is spreading opportunity to those who need it most.  The Social Mobility Impact Report has been developed in partnership with former Education Secretary Rt Hon Justine Greening.
MFA student Celia Burbush, MFA co-Programme Leader Gavin Butt and Deputy Head of Arts, Steve Gilroy, are pictured outside the new look Gallery North.
Minister for Science, Research and Innovation opens £2m investment in region’s Engineering and Environment students

Back to top