Willy Bach, Baron Bach

The Right Honourable
The Lord Bach
Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Preceded by Clive Loader
Shadow Attorney General
In office
3 December 2014  14 September 2015
Leader Ed Miliband
Harriet Harman (Acting)
Preceded by Emily Thornberry
Succeeded by Catherine McKinnell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice
In office
5 October 2008  11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by The Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
Succeeded by Jonathan Djanogly
Minister of State for Defence Procurement
In office
9 June 2001  6 May 2005
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Elizabeth Symons
Succeeded by The Lord Drayson
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
27 July 1998
Personal details
Born (1946-12-25) 25 December 1946
Political party Labour
Alma mater New College, Oxford

William "Willy" Stephen Goulden Bach, Baron Bach (born 25 December 1946), is a British Labour member of the House of Lords and was a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice from 2008 to 2010. He resigned from the opposition front bench when he was elected the Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner on 6 May 2016.

Early life

Bach was educated at Westminster before going up to New College, Oxford (MA), after which, in 1972, he was called to the Bar. He worked as a barrister, was a local Councillor in Leicester, and became Head of Chambers at King Street Chambers in Leicester on the Midland Circuit in 1996.

Political career

Bach was the Labour candidate for the constituency of Sherwood in both the 1983 and 1987 general elections. On both occasions he was defeated by the Conservative candidate Andy Stewart.

On 27 July 1998, Bach was created a life peer, as Baron Bach, of Lutterworth in the County of Leicestershire,[1] where he lives. He was appointed a Government Whip in the Lords in 1999, thereby enjoying the office as one of Her Majesty's Lords in Waiting.

From November 2000, Lord Bach served as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Lord Chancellor's Department, until June 8, 2001 when, after the general election, Lord Bach replaced The Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Procurement – one of the most high-profile jobs in the Ministry of Defence.

During Lord Bach's tenure, the United Kingdom was involved in choosing between the Boeing X-32 and Lockheed X-35 designs for the Joint Strike Fighter project. Highlighting the level of British participation in the project, Lord Bach was present at the U.S. Department of Defense announcement that Lockheed Martin had won the competition. Lord Bach was also at the signing of "Type Acceptance" – essentially, the release into service – of the RAF's Typhoon platform.

Following the 2005 general election, Lord Drayson succeeded Lord Bach at the Ministry of Defence, and Lord Bach was transferred to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State responsible for Sustainable Farming and Food. He held this post until 2006, when he returned to the back benches. As of 5 October 2008, Lord Bach was brought back into government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice replacing former Lord Hunt of Kings Heath OBE.

Lord Bach was chairman of the SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems SpA Board of Directors from September 2006 until November 2007, when he resigned from the board in order to return to his role as a government whip. In October 2008, Lord Bach was promoted to become a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice, where he served until May 2010.

In October 2013, Lord Bach became a Shadow Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister on the Official Opposition frontbench headed by Ed Miliband. On 3 December 2014, he took on the additional role of Shadow Attorney General following the resignation of Emily Thornberry.[2] He was replaced by Catherine McKinnell after the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader.

Personal life

In Who's Who, Lord Bach listed his interests as watching cricket and football (he is a supporter of Leicester City FC). He is married, with three children. He is also a great-nephew of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.


Political offices
Preceded by
Emily Thornberry
Shadow Attorney General
Succeeded by
Catherine McKinnell
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