An interesting talk by ‘Black Rod’ Lieutenant General David Leakey, followed by drinks and Sunday lunch


Lieutenant General David Leakey might not be an instantly familiar name, since he has been known inside and outside of Parliament as ‘Black Rod’ for the last seven years.

This title originated from his high profile role during the State Opening of Parliament, summoning Members of Parliament to the House of Lords to hear the Queen’s speech. Having the Commons door slammed in his face, he began banging on it with the famous Black Rod: one of the United Kingdom’s most recognised traditions around the world.

David Leakey has one of the most recognisable faces in British politics. He has been a TV and Radio panelist, as well as commentator on Parliamentary issues and international affairs, State and Ceremonial occasions, appearing on Hard Talk and the Today programme as a General. More recently, he has been on The Westminster Hour, Broadcasting House, Daily Politics and Radio 5 Live (Emma Barnett Show). He also featured prominently in the recent ‘Fly on the wall’, BBC documentary on the House of Lords: Meet the Lords and been parodied on television shows including The Last Leg.

A colourful and influential senior figure in the Houses of Parliament known as “Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod” to give its full title, he was previously a General with a distinguished career commanding multinational forces on NATO and EU operations (including counter-piracy in the Indian Ocean) and a succession of posts at the very top level of military, commercial, national, multinational organisations, and in the political complex of Parliament, Westminster, Whitehall and Brussels.

He has chaired boards and meetings of ambassadors and defence chiefs, a major commercial enterprise with an operating budget of £1,3Bn, a national charity, committees and boards in Parliament, in government departments and in not-for-profit areas.
He has lectured regularly in universities in UK and abroad, including Cambridge, Harvard and Yale, on the European Union, International Relations, Defence and Security, Parliamentary subjects and Leadership.

In addition to his reputation for delivering stimulating key note addresses, he is in demand for his entertaining and humorous after dinner speeches. His dynamic persona is a reflection of a fascinating life: born to a famous Kenya family, with a military pedigree of two Victoria Crosses and two generals, brought up in Jordan speaking Arabic, and then fluent in French and German, graduating in Law at Cambridge University, a senior general (performing a Beethoven piano sonata in concert live on TV) and then Black Rod, playing squash at national and international level, receiving a criminal conviction, a negotiator between the Bosnian factions at the famous Dayton Talks, and more besides.




09:45-10:15 – Coffee/tea in Officers’ Mess
10:30-12:00 – Presentation
12:00-12:45 – Drinks in the Officers’ Mess
12:45-14:30 – Lunch
By 15:00 Guests depart

The event will be held at The Officers Mess, Thatcham, on the 28th November 2021

To register for this event, please download and complete the following form

For further information or to by tickets please download the registration form or contact Brigadier Peter Walker by calling 01189 712409 or emailing