Alan West

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Admiral Alan William John West, Lord West of Spithead (born 21 April 1948) is a British Labour Party life peer. He joined the House of Lords in July 2007.

West was parliamentary under-secretary of state, security and counter-terrorism, at the UK Home Office from 2007 until May 2010. He also headed the National Security Forum at the Cabinet Office from 2007-10.

West has a background in military intelligence. He has sat on the Lords National Security Strategy Joint Committee since 2014. [1]

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West was born on 21 April 1948. He was educated at Windsor Grammar School and Clydebank High School. He joined the navy aged 17, and during his career served on 14 different ships, commanding three of them. Since the Falklands, he has played a key strategic role in virtually all of Britain's major conflicts and naval manoeuvres. [2]

From 1989 to 1992, West ran naval intelligence for the Ministry of Defence and co-ordinated operations during the first Gulf War. He was chief of Defence Intelligence and deputy chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee from 1997-2001. The period under his leadership covered the strikes against Iraq, the conflict in Kosovo and operations in Sierra Leone.[3]

West was a member of the defence advisory board of the controversially privatised defence and security technology company QinetiQ from 2006–07. [4]


  • Henry Jackson Society, member of the advisory council (political council), [5]
  • Member of the International Business Advisory Board of HSBC since September 2010. ACOBA saw "no reason why he should not accept the appointment 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."[6]
  • Chairman of the advisory board, QinetiQ plc. October 2006-2007. On the terms that, "In view of the time that has elapsed since he left post of First Sea Lord, approved subject to the condition that, for 12 months from his last day in post, he should not be personally involved in lobbying the MOD in connection with any current contracts or existing or new bids for work"[7][8]
  • Chairman, Spearfish Maritime Security Limited[9]
  • Chancellor, Southampton Solent University 2006-[9]


Address: House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW
Tel: 020 7219 5353


  1. Lord West of Spithead,, accessed 5 November 2014
  2. Profile: Alan West, BBC News Online, 8 July 2007
  3. Profile: Alan West, BBC News Online, 8 July 2007.
  4. ‘WEST OF SPITHEAD’, Who's Who 2008, A & C Black, 2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007
  5. Political Council members, Henry Jackson Society], accessed 5 November 2014.
  6. Twelfth Report 2010-2011 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 8 December 2014
  7. The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments Ninth Report 2006-2008 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 4 November 2014
  8. Lord Alan West The Edge, accessed 5 November 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Lord West of Spithead, accessed 5 November 2014