New minister says his son born on the 2010 election day was called Victor

Members on the benches of the House of Lords (Eddie Mulholland/The Daily Telegraph/PA) (PA Archive)
Members on the benches of the House of Lords (Eddie Mulholland/The Daily Telegraph/PA) (PA Archive)

A newly-appointed minister has revealed he named his son Victor after he was born on the day of the 2010 election that saw the Tories return to power following 13 years in opposition.

Lord Johnson of Lainston, a former business partner of Jacob Rees-Mogg, explained the story as he made his maiden speech at the despatch box in the upper chamber.

He took took his seat in the Lords following his appointment as minister of state in both the Department for International Trade and the Cabinet Office.

Speaking to his fellow Lords, he paid tribute to his wife Alice and their three children Eliza, Alexander and Victor.

He added: “Victor so-called because he was born on May 6 2010. The day the Conservatives won the historic first victory of many.”

While the Tories won the most seats at that election they were short of a majority and so went into coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

Lord Johnson also thanked his two supporters who accompanied him during the introduction ceremony to the House, one of whom was his father-in-law Lord Hamilton of Epsom.

The 48-year-old told peers: “Who whilst introducing me tapped me on the shoulder and whispered ‘I thought I’d be long dead before you sat in a place like this’.”

“I’m not sure if that was a desire or an expectation,” he joked.

Lord Johnson and Mr Rees-Mogg, the former Business Secretary, founded Somerset Capital Management, described as a seven billion US dollar (£6.2 billion), global emerging markets, specialist investment company, in 2007.

Prior to that he set up various dotcom businesses before moving into asset management in 200.

He was vice-chairman of the Conservative Party between 2016 and 2019 and was made a non-executive board member of the Department for International Trade in November 2020.

The Tory peer also revealed he was the ancestor of Baron Somers, a key author of the Bill of Rights in 1689.

He said: “It is my firm belief that today with globalisation in retreat and autocracy on the rise, the tenets he espoused could not be more relevant.

“The freedom from government interference, the protection of private property and the rule of law.

“These are values that underpin free trade, free enterprise and free societies.

“These are the values I will make it my mission to champion here as I fight for our freedoms against protectionism and autocracy.”