From humble beginnings, he worked in the media, investment banking, and television. Alli and Charlie Parsons are business partners as well as life partners.
In 1998 he became the youngest member of the House of Lords, as well as the first openly gay peer. He is a strong supporter of LGBT causes, particularly those affecting young people.
During the passage of the Equality Act 2010 he promoted an amendment which removed the ban on civil partnerships being conducted on religious premises.