First Secretary of State
First Secretary of State
|Government of the United Kingdom|
Office of the Prime Minister
|Style||The Right Honourable|
First Secretary of State (informal)
|Reports to||The Prime Minister|
|Residence||None, may use Grace and favour residences|
|Nominator||The Prime Minister|
|Appointer||The British Monarch|
on the advice of the Prime Minister
|Term length||No fixed term|
|Inaugural holder||Rab Butler|
|Formation||13 July 1962|
|Salary||£153,022 (annual, including £81,932 MP's salary)|
|This article is part of a series on|
|Politics of the United Kingdom|
|United Kingdom portal|
First Secretary of State is an office sometimes given to a cabinet minister in the Government of the United Kingdom. The office indicates seniority, including over all other Secretaries of State and can be seen as a sort-of alternative office to Deputy Prime Minister.
The First Secretary enjoys no right to automatic succession to the office of Prime Minister. However, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to an Intensive Care Unit on 6 April 2020 after contracting COVID-19, First Secretary Dominic Raab was asked "to deputise for him where necessary."
The office temporarily enjoyed some greater constitutional footing between when it was incorporated as a corporate sole in 2002 and having all of its remaining functions transferred in 2008. During most of this time, John Prescott was the First Secretary.
In 1962, R. A. Butler was the first person to be appointed to the office, in part to avoid earlier royal objections to the office of Deputy Prime Minister. The office gave him ministerial superiority over the rest of the Cabinet.
Later, Michael Heseltine and John Prescott held the office alongside being Deputy Prime Minister. The two offices have only existed concurrently with different holders in David Cameron's coalition government, wherein Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg was appointed Deputy Prime Minister, while William Hague was First Secretary.
List of First Secretaries of State
|Term of office||Other ministerial offices||Party||Ministry||Ref.|
|R. A. Butler
MP for Saffron Walden
|Title not in use||1963–1964|
MP for Belper
(I & II)
MP for Fulham
MP for Blackburn
|Title not in use||1970–1995|
MP for Henley
|Title not in use||1997–2001|
MP for Kingston upon Hull East
|Title not in use||2007–2009|
MP for Richmond (Yorks)
MP for Tatton
|Title not in use||2016–2017|
MP for Ashford
|Title not in use||2017–2019|
MP for Esher and Walton
(I & II)
- Served as Secretary of State for Economic Affairs until August 1967
- Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from March 1968
- Deputy Prime Minister from May 1997
- Served as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs until July 2014
- Served as Leader of the House of Commons from July 2014
- Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs until September 2020
- Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs from September 2020
- The Cabinet Manual. 2010. p. 22.
- Nicholas Watt (8 May 2015). "George Osborne made first secretary of state in cabinet reshuffle". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "Dominic Raab appointed UK foreign secretary, first secretary of state: statement". Reuters. London. 25 July 2019. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
- "Statement from Downing Street: 6 April 2020". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2020-08-12.
- The Transfer of Functions (Transport, Local Government and the Regions) Order 2002 Article 3(1).
- The Transfer of Functions (Miscellaneous) Order 2008 Article 7.
- Brazier, Rodney (2020). Choosing a prime minister : the transfer of power in Britain (First ed.). Oxford, United Kingdom. pp. 74–5. ISBN 978-0-19-260307-4. OCLC 1182632161.
- Brazier, Rodney (2020). Choosing a prime minister : the transfer of power in Britain (First ed.). Oxford, United Kingdom. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-19-260307-4. OCLC 1182632161.
- Brazier, Rodney (2020). Choosing a prime minister : the transfer of power in Britain (First ed.). Oxford, United Kingdom. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-19-260307-4. OCLC 1182632161.
- "First Secretary of State - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
- Howard, Anthony (February 7, 2013). RAB: The Life of R.A. Butler. A&C Black. ISBN 9781448210824.
- David Butler and Gareth Butler, British Political Facts 1900–1994 (7th edn, Macmillan 1994) 62.
- "Lord Heseltine". UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- "Lord Prescott". UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- "Lord Hague of Richmond". UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- "Rt Hon George Osborne". UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- "Rt Hon Damian Green MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- Stewart, Heather. "Damian Green sacked as first secretary of state after porn allegations". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 December 2017.