Secretary of State for Defence
|Secretary of State for Defence|
Seal of HM Government
Flag of the Secretary of State for Defence
|Ministry of Defence|
The Right Honourable
(within the UK and the Commonwealth)
|Reports to||Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
on advice of the Prime Minister
|Term length||At Her Majesty's Pleasure|
|Formation||1 April 1964|
|First holder||Peter Thorneycroft|
|Deputy||Minister of State for the Armed Forces|
Secretary of State for Defence  or formally Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Defence (Defence Secretary) is a senior official within HM Government and head of the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The post was created in 1964 as successor to the posts of Minister for Coordination of Defence (1936–1940) and Minister for Defence (1940-1964). It replaced the positions of First Lord of the Admiralty, Secretary of State for War, and Secretary of State for Air, as the Department of Admiralty, War Office and Air Ministry were unified into the Ministry of Defence (the Secretary of State for War had already ceased to be a cabinet position in 1946, with the creation of the cabinet-level Minister of Defence).
- Rt Hon. Peter Thorneycroft, (April-October 1964).
- Rt Hon.Denis Healey, (1964-1970)
- Rt Hon. Peter Carington, (1970-1974).
- Rt Hon.Ian Gilmour, (January-March 1974).
- Rt Hon. Roy Mason, (1974-1976)
- Rt Hon. Fred Mulley, (1976-1979)
- Rt Hon. Francis Pym, (1979-1981)
- Rt Hon. John Nott, (1981-1983)
- Rt Hon. Michael Hestletine, (1983-1986)
- Rt Hon. George Younger, (1986-1989)
- Rt Hon. Tom King, (1989-1992)
- Rt Hon. Malcom Rifkind, (1992-1995)
- Rt Hon. Michael Portillo, (1995-1997)
- Rt Hon. George Robertson, (1997-1999)
- Rt Hon. Geoff Hoon, (1999-2005)
- Rt Hon. John Reid, (2005-2006)
- Rt Hon. Des Browne, (2006-2008)
- Rt Hon. John Hutton, (2008-2009)
- Rt Hon. Bob Ainsworth, (2009-2010)
- Rt Hon. Liam Fox (2010-2011)
- Rt Hon. Philip Hammond, (2011-2014)
- Rt Hon. Sir Michael Fallon, (2014-2017)
- Rt Hon. Gavin Williamson, (2017-2019)
- Rt Hon. Penny Mordaunt, (2019-2019)
- Rt Hon. Ben Wallace, (2019-current)
The Secretary of State for Defence is currently responsible for strategic operations and operational strategy, including as a member of the National Security Council defence planning, programme and resource allocation. Strategic international partnerships: US, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, NATO. Nuclear operations, policy and organisations and strategic communications.
- "Secretary of State for Defence - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. HM Government UK. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
- Secretary of State for Defence. Responsibilities. HM Government. 2019.