In 2005 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Adonis, of Camden Town in the London Borough of Camden. 
Since then he has held the roles of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Government Spokesperson for Department for Education and Skills/Children, Schools and Families (Schools and Learners) 2005-08; Department for Transport 2008-10: Minister of State and Government Spokesperson 2008-09, and Secretary of State 2009-10.
Background and views
From 1991 to 1996 Adonis was an education and industry correspondent, and public policy editor at the Financial Times. In 1996, he moved to The Observer to work as a political columnist, leader writer and editor.
He was a local Lib Dem councillor for Oxford City from 1987-91 and in 1994 was chosen as a Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Westbury but resigned after 18 months. He joined the Labour Party in 1995.
Adonis is opposed to the elitism of the 'Oxbridge' universities, although he himself studied History and Philosophy at Oxford University. He persuaded Tony Blair to bring in performance-related pay for teachers. He reportedly at one point had more control of education policy within the Labour Government than Ministers. He wrote a book, A Class Act, which calls for selection in schools. He wants the top universities to be allowed to charge extra fees and has openly encouraged their vice-chancellors to press for them.
Adonis lives in Islington, north London, and was one of the Governors of the troubled George Orwell School which changed its name and appointed a disastrous short-lived 'superhead'.
- Non-executive director, Dods Group, January 2011. Approved by ACOBA, who saw "no reason why he should not take up the appointment forthwith, subject to the condition that, for 12 months from his last day in office, he does not get personally involved in lobbying UK Ministers or Crown servants, including Special Advisers, on behalf of his new employer".
- Director, Institute for Government, September 2010. Approved by ACOBA, who "noted [the role] with concern that the appointment had been accepted without advice being sought. Had an application been made at the correct time, the Committee would have seen no objection to his taking up the position forthwith, subject to the condition that, for 12 months from his last day in office, he should not become personally involved in lobbying UK Government Ministers or Crown servants, including Special Advisers, on behalf of his new employer".
- Remunerated employment as an education consultant for Boston Consulting Group and GEMS Education (international only; no advice to UK clients or government)
- Non-executive Director, Baker Dearing Educational Trust
- Non-executive Director, Edge Foundation (vocational education charity)
- Trustee, Teach First (teacher recruitment charity)