Leicester graduate to enter House of Lords

A graduate of our University has been awarded a peerage, elevating him to membership of the House of Lords.

Jonathan Caine (pictured), Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, read History at Leicester in the mid-80s and was supervised by Professor Stuart Ball when he was teaching a special subject on the Conservative Party 1902-1940.

He will be introduced into the House of Lords on 20 October with the title Lord Caine of Temple Newsam, after the district of Leeds where he grew up. Jonathan was the first in his family to go to university.

After graduating from Leicester, he got a job in the Research Department at Conservative Central Office (generally in those days the preserve of public school Oxbridge graduates), for which Professor Ball recommended him. One of his responsibilities was the Northern Ireland desk, and he has not looked back since, becoming Special Adviser to a series of Northern Ireland Secretaries up to 1995, and again since 2010.

In a note to Professor Ball informing him of his peerage, Jonathan wrote: “I just wanted to put on record that without your teaching in the mid-1980s, and helping to develop my interest in both Conservative and Ulster politics, this would never have happened.”

Professor Ball said: “As a student, Jonathan was hard-working, reliable, calm and efficient – all characteristics that have served him well as an adviser to five previous Northern Ireland Secretaries. I am delighted that his valuable and typically discrete contribution to the peace process, particularly in playing a key role in the recent Stormont House and Fresh Start Agreements that averted a major political crisis, has been recognised by this honour.”