Zahida Manzoor

Zahida Parveen Manzoor, Baroness Manzoor, CBE (born 25 May 1958) is a British businessperson and Conservative member of the House of Lords.

The Baroness Manzoor

Official portrait of Baroness Manzoor crop 2.jpg
Government Whip
In office
29 March 2018 – 7 May 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byThe Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen
Succeeded byThe Baroness Barran
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Work and Pensions
In office
29 July 2015 – 9 October 2016
LeaderTim Farron
Preceded bySteve Webb
Succeeded byThe Baroness Bakewell
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
6 September 2013
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born (1958-05-25) 25 May 1958 (age 61)
Political partyConservative Party
Liberal Democrats (until 2016)

Early lifeEdit

Manzoor was born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan to Nazir Ahmed (military veteran and businessman) and Mahroof Ahmed who moved to England when she was four years old.[1][2] She became a nurse before attending the University of Leeds (1983) and receiving an MA from the University of Bradford in 1989. She became a Lecturer before moving on to hold a number of senior positions in the NHS and then the regulation of Legal Services.

Public lifeEdit

From 1992 to 1997 Manzoor served as the Chairman of Bradford Health Authority before being appointed as one of the eight Regional Chairmen for the National Health Service (NHS). In this role she was responsible for the Northern and Yorkshire Region of the NHS with a budget of £3.5 billion and serving a population of 6.3 million. She held this position from 1997 to 2001 during which time she also served as a member of the Policy Board for the NHS.

In 1993 Manzoor became a member of the Commission for Racial Equality, going on to serve as Deputy Chairman from 1993–1995. Since 1999 she has been an Independent Assessor for the Foreign Office. From 1997-2003 she served as a Trustee on the Board of the National Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). From 1996-2003 she was co-founder and Director of Intellisys Limited, an information technology and management consultancy business.[1][2] In 1992 she was appointed by the Privy Council as a Court Member of the University of Bradford. From 1991-1993 she was a member of the Board of Governors of Sheffield Hallam University. From 1990-1996 she was Regional Director for the Common Purpose Charitable Trust. She was awarded a CBE in 1998.[3]

From 2003 to 2011 she served as the Legal Services Ombudsman for England and Wales, reporting directly to Parliament. During this period Manzoor made improvements in the way legal professional bodies, such as the Law Society and the Bar Council, dealt with complaints from members of the public. She also instigated a major investigation into the handling of personal injury claims for coal miners, resulting in redress for the coal miners and some solicitors being barred from practice.

In 2004 the Lord Chancellor also appointed Manzoor to the role of Legal Services Complaints Commissioner for England and Wales. In this role Manzoor served as the Statutory Regulator responsible for overseeing the handling of complaints by the Law Society and was given substantial powers to set performance improvement targets and impose financial penalties of up to £1 million for failure to meet those targets. She used these powers to drive improvements in the Law Society's handling of complaints. This appointment ended in April 2010.

Effective 2 August 2019, Manzoor will take up the post of Chairman of the Board at the Financial Ombudsman Service replacing Nicholas Montagu. "...I look forward to working with Caroline Wayman and Ombudsman service colleagues, who I know are committed to providing a modern and first rate service to all."

House of LordsEdit

On 6 September 2013, she was created a life peer taking the title Baroness Manzoor, of Knightsbridge in the Royal Borough of Kensington.[4] She originally joined the House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat peer.[5] She became a non-affiliated member, having resigned the Lib Dem whip in 2016.[6]

On 9 October 2016, it was announced that Manzoor had joined the Conservative Party.[7] She was appointed as a Government Whip in 2018 but resigned as Whip in May 2019.

Personal lifeEdit

She married Dr Madassar Manzoor in 1984 and the couple have two daughters. Manzoor describes her recreations as antiques, gardening, painting and visiting historic buildings.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "MANZOOR, Zahida Parveen". Who's Who 2008. Credo Reference. 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Doctor of Science, Zahida Manzoor CBE". Bradford University. 1999. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
  3. ^ "No. 55155". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 1998. p. 9.
  4. ^ "No. 60624". The London Gazette. 11 September 2013. p. 17949.
  5. ^ Working Peerages announced
  6. ^ "Baroness Manzoor". UK Parliament. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  7. ^ "Cabinet split over handling of Brexit". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 October 2016.