Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

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Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Boris Johnson FCA.jpg
Incumbent
Boris Johnson

since 13 July 2016 (2016-07-13)
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Style
Member of
Reports to Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Residence
Seat Westminster
Appointer Monarch of the United Kingdom
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Inaugural holder Charles James Fox
Formation 27 March 1782
Deputy Sir Alan Duncan
Website Official website
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the United Kingdom
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Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, normally referred to as the Foreign Secretary, is a senior official within the Government of the United Kingdom and head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The office is a cabinet-level position, and is considered one of the Great Offices of State. It is considered a position similar to that of Foreign Minister in other countries.

The Secretary of State's remit includes: relations with foreign countries, matters pertaining to the Commonwealth of Nations and the Overseas Territories in addition to the promotion of British interests abroad.[2] The Foreign Secretary also has ministerial oversight for the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).[3]

The current Foreign Secretary is former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who was appointed by Prime Minister Theresa May in July 2016.

Position[edit]

The position of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs was created in the British governmental reorganisation of 1782, in which the Northern and Southern Departments became the Home and Foreign Offices, respectively. The position of Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs came into existence in 1968 with the merger of the functions of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs into a single Department of State. The India Office was a predecessor department of the Foreign Office.

The Foreign Secretary is a member of the Cabinet, and the post is considered one of the Great Offices of State. The Foreign Secretary works out of the Foreign Office in Whitehall. The post's official residences are 1 Carlton Gardens in London and Chevening in Kent. In Tony Blair's 2006 cabinet reshuffle, Margaret Beckett became the first and thus far only woman to hold the post.

List of Foreign Secretaries[edit]

Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs (1782–1968)[edit]

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs[4]
Portrait Name[5]
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Ministry[7] Sovereign
(Rule)
Ref.
Charles James Fox00.jpg The Right Honourable
Charles James Fox

MP for Westminster
(1749–1806)
27 March
1782
5 July
1782
Whig Rockingham II George III
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1801-1816).svg
(1760–1811)
[4]
Thomas Robinson 2nd Baron.jpg The Right Honourable
Thomas Robinson
2nd Baron Grantham
PC

(1738–1786)
13 July
1782
2 April
1783
Whig Shelburne [4]
Charles James Fox00.jpg The Right Honourable
Charles James Fox

MP for Westminster
(1749–1806)
2 April
1783
19 December
1783
Whig Fox–North [4]
1stMarquessOfBuckingham.jpg The Right Honourable
George Nugent-Temple-Grenville
3rd Earl Temple
PC

(1753–1813)
19 December
1783
23 December
1783
Tory Pitt
(I–IV)
[4]
Francis Osborne cropped.jpg His Grace
Francis Osborne
5th Duke of Leeds
KGPC

(1751–1799)
23 December
1783
May
1791
Tory [4]
1st Baron Grenville-cropped.jpg The Right Honourable
William Grenville
1st Baron Grenville
PCPC (Ire)

(1759–1834)
8 June
1791
20 February
1801
Tory [4]
Earl jenkinson.jpg The Right Honourable
Robert Jenkinson
2nd Baron Hawkesbury
PCFRS

MP for Rye[1782 1]
(1770–1828)
20 February
1801
14 May
1804
Tory [4]
Addington
(I & II)
1stEarlOfHarrowby.jpg The Right Honourable
Dudley Ryder
2nd Baron Harrowby
PCFSA

(1762–1847)
14 May
1804
11 January
1805
Tory Pitt V [4]
Henry Phipps, 1st Earl of Mulgrave by Sir William Beechey.jpg The Right Honourable
Henry Phipps
3rd Baron Mulgrave
PC

(1755–1831)
11 January
1805
7 February
1806
Tory [4]
Charles James Fox00.jpg The Right Honourable
Charles James Fox

MP for Westminster
(1749–1806)
7 February
1806
13 September
1806
Whig All the Talents
(I & II)
[4]
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey by Sir Thomas Lawrence.jpg The Right Honourable
Charles Grey
1st Viscount Howick
PC

MP for Northumberland
(1764–1845)
24 September
1806
25 March
1807
Whig [4]
George Canning by Richard Evans - detail.jpg The Right Honourable
George Canning

MP for Newtown (Isle of Wight) – Hastings[1782 2]
(1770–1827)
25 March
1807
11 October
1809
Tory Portland
(II & III)
[4]
Henry Bathurst, 3rd Earl Bathurst by William Salter.jpg The Right Honourable
Henry Bathurst
3rd Earl Bathurst
PC

(1762–1834)
11 October
1809
6 December
1809
Tory Perceval [4]
Richard Colley Wellesley, Marquess Wellesley by John Philip Davis ('Pope' Davis).jpg The Most Honourable
Richard Wellesley
1st Marquess Wellesley
KGPCPC (Ire)

(1760–1842)
6 December
1809
4 March
1812
Independent [4]
Regency
Coat of Arms of George, Prince of Wales and Prince Regent (1762-1820).svg
(1811–1820)
Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh.PNG The Most Honourable
Robert Stewart
2nd Marquess of Londonderry
KGGCHPCPC (Ire)

(1769–1822)
4 March
1812
12 August
1822
Tory [4]
Liverpool
(I–V)
George IV
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1816-1837).svg
(1820–1830)
George Canning by Richard Evans - detail.jpg The Right Honourable
George Canning
FRS

MP for 3 constituencies respectively
(1770–1827)
16 September
1822
30 April
1827
Tory [4]
1stEarlOfDudley.jpg The Right Honourable
John Ward
1st Earl of Dudley
PCFRS

(1781–1833)
30 April
1827
2 June
1828
Tory Canning
(CanningiteWhig)
[4]
Goderich
(CanningiteWhig)
Wellington
Earlofaberdeen.jpg The Right Honourable
George Hamilton-Gordon
4th Earl of Aberdeen
KTFRSPCFSA Scot

(1784–1860)
2 June
1828
22 November
1830
Tory [4]
William IV
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1816-1837).svg
(1830–1837)
Lord Palmerston 1855.jpg The Right Honourable
Henry John Temple
3rd Viscount Palmerston
GCBPC

MP for 3 constituencies respectively
(1784–1865)
22 November
1830
14 November
1834
Whig Grey
(I–III)
[4]
Melbourne I
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington by John Jackson cropped.jpg Field MarshalHis Grace
Arthur Wellesley
1st Duke of Wellington
KGGCBGCHPC

(1769–1852)
14 November
1834
18 April
1835
Tory Wellington Caretaker [4]
Conservative Peel I
Lord Palmerston 1855.jpg The Right Honourable
Henry John Temple
3rd Viscount Palmerston
GCBPC

MP for Tiverton
(1784–1865)
18 April
1835
2 September
1841
Whig Melbourne
(II & III)
[4]
Victoria
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg
(1837–1901)
Earlofaberdeen.jpg The Right Honourable
George Hamilton-Gordon
4th Earl of Aberdeen
KTFRSPCFSA Scot

(1784–1860)
2 September
1841
6 July
1846
Conservative Peel II [4]
Lord Palmerston 1855.jpg The Right Honourable
Henry John Temple
3rd Viscount Palmerston
GCBPC

MP for Tiverton
(1784–1865)
6 July
1846
26 December
1851
Whig Russell
(I & II)
[4]
Second Earl Granville.jpg The Right Honourable
Granville Leveson-Gower
2nd Earl Granville
PC

(1815–1891)
26 December
1851
27 February
1852
Whig [4]
JH Harris 3rd Earl of Malmesbury by JG Middleton crop.jpg The Right Honourable
James Howard Harris
3rd Earl of Malmesbury
PC

(1807–1889)
27 February
1852
28 December
1852
Conservative Who? Who?
(I & II)
[4]
Lord john russell.jpg The Right Honourable
Lord John Russell
FRS

MP for the City of London
(1792–1878)
28 December
1852
21 February
1853
Whig Aberdeen
(PeeliteWhig)
[4]
4thEarlOfClarendon.jpg The Right Honourable
George Villiers
4th Earl of Clarendon
KGGCBPC

(1800–1870)
21 February
1853
26 February
1858
Whig [4]
Palmerston
(I & II)
JH Harris 3rd Earl of Malmesbury by JG Middleton crop.jpg The Right Honourable
James Howard Harris
3rd Earl of Malmesbury
GCBPC

(1807–1889)
26 February
1858
18 June
1859
Conservative Derby III [4]
Lord john russell.jpg The Right Honourable
John Russell
1st Earl Russell
KGPCFRS

(1792–1878)
18 June
1859
3 November
1865
Liberal Palmerston
(III & IV)
[4]
Russell III
4thEarlOfClarendon.jpg The Right Honourable
George Villiers
4th Earl of Clarendon
KGGCBPC

(1800–1870)
3 November
1865
6 July
1866
Liberal [4]
Edward Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby 2.jpg The Right Honourable
Edward Stanley
Lord Stanley
PCFRS

MP for King's Lynn
(1826–1893)
6 July
1866
9 December
1868
Conservative Derby IV [4]
Disraeli I
4thEarlOfClarendon.jpg The Right Honourable
George Villiers
4th Earl of Clarendon
KGGCBPC

(1800–1870)
9 December
1868
6 July
1870
Liberal Gladstone I [4]
Second Earl Granville.jpg The Right Honourable
Granville Leveson-Gower
2nd Earl Granville
KGPCFRS

(1815–1891)
6 July
1870
21 February
1874
Liberal [4]
Edward Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby 2.jpg The Right Honourable
Edward Stanley
15th Earl of Derby
PCFRS

(1826–1893)
21 February
1874
2 April
1878
Conservative Disraeli II [4]
Robert cecil.jpg The Most Honourable
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
3rd Marquess of Salisbury
KGPCFRSDL

(1830–1903)
2 April
1878
28 April
1880
Conservative [4]
Second Earl Granville.jpg The Right Honourable
Granville Leveson-Gower
2nd Earl Granville
KGPCFRS

(1815–1891)
28 April
1880
24 June
1885
Liberal Gladstone II [4]
Robert cecil.jpg The Most Honourable
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
3rd Marquess of Salisbury
KGPCFRSDL

(1830–1903)
24 June
1885
6 February
1886
Conservative Salisbury I [4]
Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery - 1890s.jpg The Right Honourable
Archibald Primrose
5th Earl of Rosebery
PCFRS

(1847–1929)
6 February
1886
3 August
1886
Liberal Gladstone III [4]
Stafford Northcote, 1st Earl of Iddesleigh.jpg The Right Honourable
Stafford Northcote
1st Earl of Iddesleigh
GCBPCFRS

(1818–1887)
3 August
1886
12 January
1887
Conservative Salisbury II [4]
Robert cecil.jpg The Most Honourable
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
3rd Marquess of Salisbury
KGPCFRSDL

(1830–1903)
14 January
1887
11 August
1892
Conservative [4]
Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery - 1890s.jpg The Right Honourable
Archibald Primrose
5th Earl of Rosebery
KGPCFRS

(1847–1929)
18 August
1892
11 March
1894
Liberal Gladstone IV [4]
1st Earl of Kimberley 1897.jpg The Right Honourable
John Wodehouse
1st Earl of Kimberley
KGPCDL

(1826–1902)
11 March
1894
21 June
1895
Liberal Rosebery [4]
Robert cecil.jpg The Most Honourable
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
3rd Marquess of Salisbury
KGPCFRSDL

(1830–1903)
29 June
1895
12 November
1900
Conservative Salisbury
(III–V)

(Con.Lib.U.)
[4]
Marquess of Lansdowne crop.jpg The Most Honourable
Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice
5th Marquess of Lansdowne
KGGCSIGCMGGCIEPC

(1845–1927)
12 November
1900
4 December
1905
Liberal Unionist [4]
Edward VII
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg
(1901–1910)
Balfour
(Con.Lib.U.)
Picture of Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Edward Grey
BtDL

MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed
(1862–1933)
10 December
1905
10 December
1916
Liberal Campbell-Bannerman
(I & II)
[4]
Asquith
(I–III)
George V
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg
(1910–1936)
Asquith IV
(Lib.Con.Lab.)
Picture of Arthur Balfour.jpg The Right Honourable
Arthur Balfour
OMFRSDL

MP for the City of London
(1848–1930)
10 December
1916
23 October
1919
Conservative Lloyd George
(I & II)

(Lib.Con.Lab.)
[4]
Curzon GGBain.jpg The Most Honourable
George Curzon
1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
KGGCSIGCIEPC

(1859–1925)
23 October
1919
22 January
1924
Conservative [4]
Law
(I & II)
Baldwin I
Ramsay MacDonald ggbain 35734.jpg The Right Honourable
Ramsay MacDonald

MP for Aberavon
(1866–1937)
22 January
1924
3 November
1924
Labour MacDonald I [4]
Austen Chamberlain nobel.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Austen Chamberlain
KG

MP for Birmingham West
(1863–1937)
6 November
1924
4 June
1929
Conservative Baldwin II [4]
1910 Arthur Henderson.jpg The Right Honourable
Arthur Henderson

MP for Burnley
(1863–1935)
7 June
1929
24 August
1931
Labour MacDonald II [4]
Rufus Isaacs.jpg The Most Honourable
Rufus Isaacs
1st Marquess of Reading
GCBGCSIGCIEGCVOPCKC

(1860–1935)
25 August
1931
5 November
1931
Liberal 1st National
(N.Lab.Con.Lib.N.Lib.)
[4]
Portrait of John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir John Simon
GCSIOBE

MP for Spen Valley
(1873–1954)
5 November
1931
7 June
1935
Liberal National 2nd National[1782 3]
(N.Lab.Con.Lib.N.Lib.)
[4]
Sir Samuel Hoare GGBain.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Samuel Hoare
BtGCSIGBECMGJP

MP for Chelsea
(1880–1959)
7 June
1935
18 December
1935
Conservative 3rd National
(Con.N.Lab.Lib.N.)
[4]
Eden, Anthony.jpg The Right Honourable
Anthony Eden
MC

MP for Warwick & Leamington
(1897–1977)
22 December
1935
20 February
1938
Conservative [4]
Edward VIII
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg
(1936)
George VI
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg
(1936–1952)
4th National
(Con.N.Lab.Lib.N.)
1st Earl of Halifax 1947.jpg The Right Honourable
Edward Wood
3rd Viscount Halifax
PC

(1881–1959)
21 February
1938
22 December
1940
Conservative [4]
Chamberlain War
(Con.N.Lab.Lib.N.)
Churchill War
(All parties)
Eden, Anthony.jpg The Right Honourable
Anthony Eden
MC

MP for Warwick & Leamington
(1897–1977)
22 December
1940
26 July
1945
Conservative [4]
Churchill Caretaker
(Con.Lib.N.)
Ernest Bevin HU 81497.jpg The Right Honourable
Ernest Bevin

MP for Wandsworth Central – Woolwich East[1782 4]
(1881–1951)
27 July
1945
9 March
1951
Labour Attlee
(I & II)
[4]
Herbert Morrison 1947.jpg The Right Honourable
Herbert Morrison

MP for Lewisham South
(1888–1965)
9 March
1951
26 October
1951
Labour [4]
Eden, Anthony.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Anthony Eden
KGMC

MP for Warwick & Leamington
(1897–1977)
28 October
1951
7 April
1955
Conservative Churchill III [4]
Elizabeth II
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
(1952–present)
Harold Macmillan number 10 official.jpg The Right Honourable
Harold Macmillan

MP for Bromley
(1894–1986)
7 April
1955
20 December
1955
Conservative Eden
(I & II)
[4]
Selwyn Lloyd cropped.jpg The Right Honourable
Selwyn Lloyd
CBEQC

MP for Wirral
(1904–1978)
20 December
1955
27 July
1960
Conservative [4]
Macmillan
(I & II)
Alec Douglas-Home (c1963).jpg The Right Honourable
Alec Douglas-Home
14th Earl of Home
PC

(1903–1995)
27 July
1960
20 October
1963
Conservative [4]
Rab Butler.png The Right Honourable
Richard Austen Butler
CH

MP for Saffron Walden
(1902–1982)
20 October
1963
16 October
1964
Conservative Douglas-Home [4]
Patrick Gordon Walker.jpg The Right Honourable
Patrick Gordon Walker

MP for Smethwick[1782 5]
(1907–1980)
16 October
1964
22 January
1965
Labour Wilson
(I & II)
[4]
Michael Stewart (1966).jpg The Right Honourable
Michael Stewart

MP for Fulham
(1906–1990)
22 January
1965
11 August
1966
Labour [4]
George Brown, 1967.jpg The Right Honourable
George Brown

MP for Belper
(1914–1985)
11 August
1966
16 March
1968
Labour [4]
Michael Stewart (1966).jpg The Right Honourable
Michael Stewart

MP for Fulham
(1906–1990)
16 March
1968
17 October
1968
Labour [4]
^† Died in office.
  1. ^ Elevated to the Peerage of the United Kingdom in November 1803.
  2. ^ Elected to a new constituency in the 1807 general election.
  3. ^ The Liberal Party withdrew on 28 September 1932.[8]
  4. ^ Elected to a new constituency in the 1950 general election.
  5. ^ Lost seat in the 1964 general election.

Secretaries of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1968–present)[edit]

Post created through the merger of the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Office.

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Portrait Name[5]
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Ministry[7] Sovereign
(Rule)
Ref.
Michael Stewart (1966).jpg The Right Honourable
Michael Stewart

MP for Fulham
(1906–1990)
17 October
1968
19 June
1970
Labour Wilson
(I & II)
Elizabeth II
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
(1952–present)
[4]
Alec Douglas-Home (c1963).jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Alec Douglas-Home
KT

MP for Kinross and Western Perthshire
(1903–1995)
20 June
1970
4 March
1974
Conservative Heath [4]
James Callaghan.JPG The Right Honourable
James Callaghan

MP for Cardiff South East
(1912–2005)
5 March
1974
5 April
1976
Labour Wilson
(III & IV)
[4]
Ford A9572 Anthony Crosland crop.jpg The Right Honourable
Anthony Crosland

MP for Great Grimsby
(1918–1977)
8 April
1976
19 February
1977
Labour Callaghan [4]
David Owen-1.jpg The Right Honourable
David Owen

MP for Plymouth Devonport
(born 1938)
22 February
1977
4 May
1979
Labour [4]
Peter, 6th Baron Carrington cropped.JPG The Right Honourable
Peter Carington
6th Baron Carrington
KCMGMCPCDL

(born 1919)
5 May
1979
5 April
1982
Conservative Thatcher I [4]
Zconcam61.jpg The Right Honourable
Francis Pym
MC

MP for Cambridgeshire
(1922–2008)
6 April
1982
11 June
1983
Conservative [4]
Geoffrey Howe.jpg The Right Honourable
Sir Geoffrey Howe
QC

MP for East Surrey
(1926–2015)
11 June
1983
24 July
1989
Conservative Thatcher II [4]
Thatcher III
Major PM full.jpg The Right Honourable
John Major

MP for Huntingdon
(born 1943)
24 July
1989
26 October
1989
Conservative [4]
Lord Hurd (cropped).jpg The Right Honourable
Douglas Hurd
CBE

MP for Witney
(born 1930)
26 October
1989
5 July
1995
Conservative [4]
Major I
Major II
Malcolm Rifkind.jpg The Right Honourable
Malcolm Rifkind
QC

MP for Edinburgh Pentlands
(born 1946)
5 July
1995
2 May
1997
Conservative [4]
Robin Cook-close crop.jpg The Right Honourable
Robin Cook

MP for Livingston
(1946–2005)
2 May
1997
8 June
2001
Labour Blair
(I–III)
[4]
Jack straw.JPG The Right Honourable
Jack Straw

MP for Blackburn
(born 1946)
8 June
2001
5 May
2006
Labour [4]
Margaret Beckett May 2007 cropped.jpg The Right Honourable
Margaret Beckett

MP for Derby South
(born 1943)
5 May
2006
28 June
2007
Labour [4]
David Miliband 2.jpg The Right Honourable
David Miliband

MP for South Shields
(born 1965)
28 June
2007
11 May
2010
Labour Brown [4]
William Hague 2010 cropped.jpg The Right Honourable
William Hague
FRSL

MP for Richmond (Yorks)
(born 1961)
11 May
2010
14 July
2014
Conservative Cameron–Clegg
(Con.L.D.)
[4]
Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Defence.jpg The Right Honourable
Philip Hammond

MP for Runnymede and Weybridge
(born 1955)
14 July
2014
13 July
2016
Conservative [4]
Cameron II
Boris Johnson July 2015.jpg The Right Honourable
Boris Johnson

MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip
(born 1964)
13 July
2016
Incumbent Conservative May I [4]
May II

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Public List" (PDF). Protocol and Liason Service. United Nations. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  2. ^ "Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Ministerial responsibility". GCHQ. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2017. Day-to-day ministerial responsibility for GCHQ lies with the Foreign Secretary. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch "Past Foreign Secretaries". gov.uk. Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Including honorifics and constituencies for elected MPs.
  6. ^ "Ministry". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 3 September 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Defined as a period of government under one or two predominant ministers.[6]
  8. ^ "Resignation letter by Liberal ministers to Ramsay MacDonald" (Letter). Letter to Ramsay MacDonald. Samuel papers. 28 September 1932. SAM/A/89/84. 

External links[edit]