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.

NU World

Explore NU World

Find out what life here is all about. From studying to socialising, term time to downtime, we’ve got it covered.

Latest News and Features

An image of people sitting on benches in a park surrounded by trees
Northumbria student signs first major book publishing deal
AHRC banner, showing different people involved doing different activites.
Relief workers walking through rubble in the aftermath of a storm in North Africa.
£1 million funding award supports leading new medical research at Northumbria University
a photo of monsoon rain in a mountainous location
Norman Franklin and Dr Jane Greaves in the OSCE test centre at Northumbria University
More events

Upcoming events

Some prickly Predicaments in Sonification
The Quorn Story

Back to top