Lieutenant General David Leakey CMG CBE MA has taken up the post of Black Rod: it combines security responsibilities with royal and ceremonial duties within the House of Lords.
There was a short ceremony in the House of Lords chamber on 1 February to mark his introduction, and tributes were made to mark the retirement of Sir Freddie Viggers.
The post of Black Rod combines the duties of Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod; Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of Lords; and Secretary to the Lord Great Chamberlain.
The main responsibilities of the post are carried out in the House of Lords where Black Rod is responsible for security, contingency planning and business continuity, organising access to and maintaining order within the Lords chamber and precincts, and managing the contract for police services.
As Secretary to the Lord Great Chamberlain (appointed by the Lord Great Chamberlain), Black Rod is responsible for and participates in the major ceremonial events in the Palace of Westminster including the State Opening of Parliament.
Black Rod also manages the Sovereign’s residual estate in the Palace of Westminster (including the Robing Room and the Royal Gallery).
Lieutenant General David Leakey was appointed Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod on 21 December 2010.
Lieutenant General David Leakey served as an army officer from 1971-2010 and has commanded forces and operations in a number of areas, including the Balkans. He has also held senior defence, security and international appointments in the Ministry of Defence and in Brussels, most recently as the Director General of the EU Military Staff from 2007-2010.
Other key roles include:
2004-2006: Major General – Commander International Stabilisation Force in Bosnia
2001-2004: Major General – Chief Executive Training and Recruitment Agency
2000-2001: Brigadier – Chief of Staff HQ Northern Ireland
1997-2000: Brigadier – Director Military Operations (MOD)
1996-1997: Brigadier – Commander 20 Armoured Brigade, Germany and Bosnia
Lieutenant General David Leakey succeeds Sir Freddie Viggers who resigned in October 2010.
Image: Parliamentary copyright