Defence Council of the United Kingdom

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Defence Council of the United Kingdom
Agency overview
Formed 1964
Jurisdiction United Kingdom United Kingdom
Headquarters Whitehall, Westminster, London
Agency executive The Rt. Hon. Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
Chairman
Parent agency Ministry of Defence
A sign erected under the auspices of the Defence Council

The Defence Council of the United Kingdom is the body legally entrusted with the defence of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories and with control over the British armed forces, and is part of the Ministry of Defence.[1]

Functions[edit]

Prior to 1964, there were five bodies responsible for the armed forces: the Admiralty, the War Office, the Air Ministry, the Ministry of Aviation, and a smaller Ministry of Defence. By Orders-in-Council issued under the Defence (Transfer of Functions) Act 1964,[2] the functions of these bodies were transferred to the Defence Council and the Secretary of State for Defence, who heads a larger Ministry of Defence.

The Secretary of State for Defence, who is a member of the Cabinet, chairs the Defence Council, and is accountable to the Queen and to Parliament for its business. The letters patent constituting the Defence Council vest it with the power of command over Her Majesty's Forces and give it responsibility for their administration, or in the words of the letters patent:

"...to administer such matters pertaining to Our Naval Military and Air Forces as We through Our Principal Secretary of State for Defence direct them to execute And to have command under Us of all Officers Ratings Soldiers and Airmen of Our Naval Military and Air Forces...".

In practice, the Defence Council is a formal body, and almost all its work is conducted by or on behalf of the three service boards chaired by the Secretary of State which report to the Defence Council, namely the Admiralty Board, the Army Board and the Air Force Board.

Membership[edit]

As of April 2015, membership of the Defence Council is as follows:[3]

Members Title Name
Political Secretary of State for Defence The Right Honourable Michael Fallon, MP
Minister of State for the Armed Forces The Right Honourable Mark Francois, MP
Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Anna Soubry, MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Reserves Julian Brazier, MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology (including Defence Exports) Philip Dunne, MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and the Lords Spokesman on Defence The Lord Astor of Hever DL, DL
Her Majesty's Civil Service Chief of Defence Materiel Bernard Gray
Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Vernon C. Gibson, FRS
Permanent Under-Secretary of State Jon Thompson
Director General Finance Louise Tulett, CBE
Military The Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Houghton, GCB, CBE, ADC Gen
The Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, KCB, CBE, ADC, DL
The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sir George Zambellas, KCB, DSC, ADC, DL, FRAeS
The Chief of the General Staff General Sir Nick Carter, KCB, CBE, DSO, ADC Gen
The Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, KCB, CBE, ADC
The Commander, Joint Forces Command General Sir Richard Barrons, KCB, CBE, ADC Gen

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Defence Council". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  2. ^ London Gazette (Her Majesty’s Stationery Office) (43277): 2545. 20 March 1964 http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/43277/pages/2545. Retrieved 10 June 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ MOD website