He is thought to be the first Conservative MP to be openly gay when first elected.
On the formation of the Coalition Government in 2010 he was appointed Minister of State for Police and Criminal Justice. He returned to the back benches in the government reshuffle in September 2012.
Nick Herbert entered a civil partnership with Jason Eades in January 2009.
In December 2012 Nick Herbert announced the formation of "Freedom to Marry", a pro-marriage-equality group of 19 senior Conservatives including Boris Johnson.
He was number 14 on the Independent on Sunday's Pink List 2011 and number 64 on the Pride Power List 2011.
In May 2021 Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Lord Herbert of South Downs as the UK’s Special Envoy on LGBT rights. In April 2022 he called for 'a Royal Commission to detoxify the trans debate and find common ground'.