THE former Barrow MP Lord Walney is taking up a new role.

The peer, who served as the Furness MP for nine years as John Woodcock before standing down, is joining a public affairs consultancy.

He will take on the role of senior adviser at the public affairs and strategic communications firm Rud Pedersen.

The crossbench peer, who quit the Labour Party in 2018, was ennobled by Boris Johnson in 2020.

He is serving as the Government's independent adviser on political violence and disruption, as well as Trade Envoy to Tanzania.

Lord Walney said: “I am delighted to begin supporting Rud Pedersen’s brilliant UK team at the outset of such an important year in British politics.

"All eyes are on the change that a future Labour Government may bring in an election year with a fragile economy and deeply troubled international environment.

"I am looking forward to using my two decades of experience and expertise in politics and government to advise organisations seeking to understand and navigate this complex landscape.”

The former MP was elected in 2010 and served as shadow minister for transport and chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party’s defence and foreign affairs committees.

In the final term of the last Labour Government, he was the political spokesman to then Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Downing Street and was a special adviser in the Cabinet Office, Department for Work and Pensions and Business department.

Lord Walney resigned from Labour in 2018, hitting out at 'manipulation' of an internal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and continued as an independent MP.

Ahead of the 2019 election he chose not to stand again as he announced he was expecting a baby with his partner Isabel Hardman.

He urged people to vote Conservative to stop Jeremy Corbyn 'getting his hands on the levers of national security and defence'.

He was a vocal critic of the party leader amid concerns over the leader's position on the nuclear deterrent.