Minister for the Cabinet Office
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|Minister for the Cabinet Office|
|Style||The Right Honourable|
National Security Council
|Reports to||Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
on the advice of the Prime Minister
|Term length||No fixed term|
The Minister for the Cabinet Office is a position in the Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom. The office has no statutory footing or recognition, and is unpaid. Every individual who has held the office has therefore also been appointed to a sinecure office to secure a seat at cabinet and a salary.
- 1 Function and Status
- 2 Current minister and responsibilities
- 3 Ministers for the Cabinet Office
- 4 Ministers of State for the Cabinet Office
- 5 Opposition spokespersons for the Cabinet Office
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Function and Status
The Cabinet Office has a primary responsibility to support the work of the Prime Minister and ensure the effective running of government. Within this set-up, the Minister for the Cabinet Office has been seen to have varying responsibilities and stature in the government. The role is a flexible one and has variously been described as one or several of the following under different office-holders (and sometimes conflicting accounts of the status of the same office holder):
- Monitoring the co-ordination of the work of government departments
- Chairing or sitting on several Cabinet Committees
- An additional title to indicate special responsibility
- An additional title to indicate seniority
- Deputising for the Prime Minister at Prime Minister's Questions
The government presently describes the minister for the Cabinet Office as being "in overall charge of and responsible for the policy and work of the department, and attends Cabinet".
Damian Green held the office in 2017, simultaneously with the office of First Secretary of State. Green chaired numerous Cabinet Committees and filled in for the Prime Minister at Prime Minister's Questions. By virtue of his responsibilities and as First Secretary of State, he was considered a de facto Deputy Prime Minister. Upon the appointment of David Lidington in 2018, Lidington retained the responsibilities Green had held, but the title of First Secretary of State remained vacant (as did the office of Deputy Prime Minister, vacant since 2015).
As a result, the office in its 2017-2019 absorbed the responsibilities of a de facto Deputy Prime Minister, without either of the associated titles usually granted to individuals in the British Government (First Secretary of State or Deputy Prime Minister). In 2019, new Prime Minister Boris Johnson ended this arrangement with the appointment of a new First Secretary of State.
Current minister and responsibilities
The current minister is Oliver Dowden, who was appointed for the Johnson ministry in July 2019. He simultaneously holds the sinecure office of Paymaster General. The role has had varying responsibilities over time.
The most recent responsibilities are:
- Supporting the Prime Minister in the running of the Government of the United Kingdom.
- Deputising for the Prime Minister.
- Advising the Prime Minister on developing and implementing Government policy.
- Driving forward government business and implementation including through chairing and deputy chairing cabinet committees and taskforces.
- Overseeing constitutional affairs and maintaining the integrity of the Union.
- Oversight of all Cabinet Office policies.
Ministers for the Cabinet Office
Every occupant of the position has simultaneously held a sinecure office, this being Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from Clark to Byrne, Paymaster General from Jowell to Gummer, and First Secretary of State with Green. David Lidington held the role of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, whereas Oliver Dowden holds the office of Paymaster General.
|Name||Portrait||Term of office||Political party||Prime Minister|
|David Clark||2 May 1997||27 July 1998||Labour||Tony Blair|
|Jack Cunningham||27 July 1998||11 October 1999||Labour|
|Mo Mowlam||11 October 1999||7 June 2001||Labour|
|The Lord Macdonald of Tradeston||11 June 2001||13 June 2003||Labour|
|Douglas Alexander||13 June 2003||8 September 2004||Labour|
|Alan Milburn||8 September 2004||6 May 2005||Labour|
|John Hutton||6 May 2005||2 November 2005||Labour|
|Jim Murphy (acting)||5 November 2005||5 May 2006||Labour|
|Hilary Armstrong||5 May 2006||27 June 2007||Labour|
|Ed Miliband||27 June 2007||3 October 2008||Labour||Gordon Brown|
|Liam Byrne||3 October 2008||5 June 2009||Labour|
|Tessa Jowell||5 June 2009||11 May 2010||Labour|
|Francis Maude||12 May 2010||11 May 2015||Conservative||David Cameron|
|Matthew Hancock||11 May 2015||14 July 2016||Conservative||David Cameron|
|Ben Gummer||14 July 2016||11 June 2017||Conservative||Theresa May|
|Damian Green||11 June 2017||20 December 2017||Conservative||Theresa May|
|David Lidington||8 January 2018||24 July 2019||Conservative|
|Oliver Dowden||24 July 2019||Incumbent||Conservative||Boris Johnson|
Ministers of State for the Cabinet Office
Occasionally, a Minister of State for the Cabinet Office is appointed who is junior to the Minister for the Cabinet Office.
|Name||Portrait||Term of office||Political party||Prime Minister|
|Derek Foster||2 May 1997||6 May 1997||Labour||Blair|
|Peter Kilfoyle||6 May 1997||28 July 1999||Labour|
|Ian McCartney||28 July 1999||11 June 2001||Labour|
|Barbara Roche||11 June 2001||29 May 2002||Labour|
|Douglas Alexander||29 May 2002||13 June 2003||Labour|
|David Miliband||16 December 2004||11 May 2005||Labour|
|David Laws||4 September 2012||7 May 2015||Liberal Democrats||Cameron|
|Vacant||8 May 2015-present||Cameron|
Opposition spokespersons for the Cabinet Office
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Shadow Ministers for the Cabinet Office
|Name||Portrait||Term of office||Party||Shadow Cabinet|
|Andrew Lansley||15 June 1999||18 September 2001||Conservative||Hague|
|Tim Collins||18 September 2001||23 July 2002||Conservative||Duncan Smith|
|Francis Maude||2 July 2007||11 May 2010||Conservative||Cameron|
|Tessa Jowell||11 May 2010||8 October 2010||Labour||Harman|
|Liam Byrne||8 October 2010||20 January 2011||Labour||Miliband|
|Tessa Jowell||20 January 2011||7 October 2011||Labour|
|Jon Trickett||7 October 2011||7 October 2013||Labour|
|Michael Dugher||7 October 2013||5 November 2014||Labour|
|Lucy Powell||5 November 2014||14 September 2015||Labour|
|Tom Watson||14 September 2015||7 October 2016||Labour||Corbyn|
|Ian Lavery||7 October 2016||February 2017||Labour|
|Jon Trickett||February 2017||10 July 2018||Labour|
|Jo Platt||10 July 2018||Incumbent||Labour|
Scottish National Party
|Name||Portrait||Term of office||Frontbench team|
|Tommy Sheppard||May 2015 – present||Robertson|
|Name||Portrait||Term of office||Shadow Cabinet|
|Alan Beith||bef. April 2003||aft. April 2003||Kennedy|
|Richard Allan||bef. August 2003||aft. April 2004|
|David Heath||April 2006||January 2006||Campbell|
|Norman Baker||bef. July 2007||December 2007|
|Susan Kramer||December 2007||May 2010||Clegg|
|May 2010 – May 2015, the Liberal Democrats were in a coalition government, so did not have opposition spokespersons|
|no appointment announced||July 2015||present||Farron|
- "What We Do". Cabinet Office. Government of the United Kingdom.
- "Fourth Report: The Cabinet and the Centre of Government". Parliament.uk. Constitution Committee of the House of Lords. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
- "Tory chairman Brandon Lewis defends reshuffle". BBC News. 9 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
- "Minister for the Cabinet Office". Cabinet Office. Government of the United Kingdom.
- Cheung, Aron. "Cabinet committees show Damian Green is de facto Deputy PM". Institute for Government. Institute for Government.