Jonathan Oates was appointed as a member of the House of Lords in 2015.
During the Coalition Government, he was Chief of Staff to the Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, and, prior to that, Deputy Director of Communications in 10 Downing Street. He is a former Director of Policy and Communications at the Liberal Democrats and was Director of General Election Communications for the 2010 General Election. He is Chair of the Advisory Board of Weber Shandwick UK and a non-executive director of NHS Blood & Transplant. From 2017-2019 he was Senior Adviser to the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, a charitable foundation working with children and young people, principally in Africa and South Asia.
He worked in South Africa for the Westminster Foundation for Democracy in the late 1990s on a project to support political parties previously excluded from parliament under the apartheid regime. In 1988 he taught in – and helped establish – a new rural secondary school in Zimbabwe. He is a former councillor and Deputy Leader of the Council in the Royal Borough of Kingston. His areas of focus in the House of Lords include international development, mental health and the rights of UK and other EU citizens in the context of Brexit.