John Attlee, 3rd Earl Attlee, is the grandson of heavyweight Labour Prime Minister and 1st Earl Clement Attlee but, unlike the 1st and 2nd Earls, sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative.
Born in in 1956, Lord Attlee was styled with the courtesy title Viscount Prestwood from 1967 until his father’s death in 1991. He began a career in business in 1985, working in commercial vehicle recovery and repair, following a period of training with Smiths Industries in material management. He is also president of the Heavy Transport Association and patron of the Road Rescue Recovery Association, as well as a trustee of the Attlee Foundation.
In 1992, he took his seat in the House of Lords, initially sitting as a crossbencher. Shortly before the 1997 general election, however, he joined the Conservatives and was one of 90 peers elected to remain in the House following the House of Lords Act 1999. An Opposition spokesman for a number of departments, Earl Attlee was later appointed Conservative whip. Following the 2010 general election, he was made Lord-in-Waiting, or Government whip.
As well as his business and political careers, Lord Attlee also has experience in the Armed Forces, as a member of the Territorial Army in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers was commissioned in 1991 and served in Bosnia between 1997 and 1998 and with HQ 1 (UK) Armoured Division in Iraq in 2003. In the winter of 1993/94, he undertook a tour with British Direct Aid and ran the organisation’s operation in Rwanda in 1995.