National Security Council (United Kingdom)

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United Kingdom
National Security Council
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Committee overview
Formed 12 May 2010
Committee executives David Cameron, Prime Minister, Chair
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Chair
Parent department Cabinet Office
Website www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/content/national-security-council

The National Security Council (NSC) of the United Kingdom is a Cabinet Committee tasked with overseeing all issues related to national security, intelligence coordination, and defence strategy. The terms of reference of the National Security Council are to consider matters relating to national security, foreign policy, defence, international relations and international development, resilience, energy and resource security.

The NSC was established on 12 May 2010 by Prime Minister David Cameron. The Council will coordinate responses to threats faced by the United Kingdom and integrating at the highest level the work of relevant government entities with respect to national security.[1]

Council Membership[edit]

As at 3 June 2015, the NSC's members are as follows:[2]

Officeholder Office(s)
The Rt Hon. David Cameron MP Prime Minister (Chair)
The Rt Hon. George Osborne MP Chancellor of the Exchequer and First Secretary of State
The Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The Rt Hon. Michael Fallon MP Secretary of State for Defence
The Rt Hon. Theresa May MP Secretary of State for the Home Department
The Rt Hon. Justine Greening MP Secretary of State for International Development
The Rt Hon. Amber Rudd MP Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
The Rt Hon. Sajid Javid MP Secretary of State for Business
The Rt Hon. Oliver Letwin MP Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
The Rt Hon. Jeremy Wright MP Attorney General

Other government ministers, senior officials, military and intelligence officers attend as necessary, some on a regular basis. There are two subcommittees of the NSC,[3] Nuclear Deterrence and Security and Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingencies. The Leader of the Opposition, has attended on an occasional basis.

National Security Adviser[edit]

The first National Security Adviser (NSA) of the United Kingdom was Sir Peter Ricketts,[4] who was previously Permanent Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. He handed over to Sir Nigel Kim Darroch in January 2012. The National Security Adviser is a Civil Service position based in the Cabinet Office and heads up a team called the National Security Secretariat.

Council Subcommittees[edit]

Nuclear Deterrence and Security Subcommittee[edit]

The Nuclear Deterrence and Security Subcommittee is a restricted attendance subcommittee of the National Security Council with the terms of references to consider issues relating to nuclear deterrence and security.[5]

Officeholder Office(s)
The Rt Hon. David Cameron MP Prime Minister (Chair)
The Rt Hon. George Osborne MP Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The Rt Hon. Michael Fallon MP Secretary of State for Defence
The Rt Hon. Theresa May MP Secretary of State for the Home Department
The Rt Hon. Amber Rudd MP Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
The Rt Hon. Oliver Letwin MP Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingencies Subcommittee[edit]

The Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingencies Subcommittee is a subcommittee of the National Security Council with the terms of references to consider issues relating to terrorism and other security threats, hazards, resilience and intelligence policy and the performance and resources of the security and intelligence agencies; and report as necessary to the National Security Council.[5]

Officeholder Office(s)
The Rt Hon. David Cameron MP Prime Minister (Chair)
The Rt Hon. George Osborne MP Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Deputy Chair)
The Rt Hon. Michael Fallon MP Secretary of State for Defence
The Rt Hon. Theresa May MP Secretary of State for the Home Department
The Rt Hon. Sajid Javid MP Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills (Deputy Chair)
The Rt Hon. Amber Rudd MP Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
The Rt Hon. Michael Gove MP Secretary of State for Justice
The Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan MP Secretary of State for Education
The Rt Hon. Greg Clark MP Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
The Rt Hon. Patrick McLoughlin MP Secretary of State for Transport
The Rt Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP Secretary of State for Health
The Rt Hon. Elizabeth Truss MP Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The Rt Hon. Justine Greening MP Secretary of State for International Development
The Rt Hon. Theresa Villiers MP Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
The Rt Hon. John Whittingdale MP Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
The Rt Hon. Oliver Letwin MP Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

When intelligence matters are discussed by the subcommittee there is restricted attendance to Prime Minister (Chair), Deputy Prime Minister (Deputy Chair), Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary of State for the Home Department, and Secretary of State for Defence.

National Security Secretariat[edit]

From July 2010, there were two Deputy National Security Advisers (DNSAs): Julian Miller for Foreign & Defence Policy and Oliver Robbins for Intelligence, Security & Resilience.[4] By March 2013, Hugh Powell - previously a National Security Secretariat Director - had been promoted to a newly created third DNSA position.[6] As of 6 November 2014, the three DNSAs were: Hugh Powell as DNSA (Foreign Policy), Julian Miller as DNSA (Defence, Nuclear and Strategy) and Paddy McGuinness as DNSA (Intelligence, Security & Resilience).[7] As of 10 February 2015, Liane Saunders - previously the National Security Secretariat's Director for Foreign Policy and its Afghanistan/Pakistan Coordinator - was described as an Acting Deputy National Security Adviser (Conflict, Stability and Foreign Policy).[8]

As of early December 2014, the National Security Secretariat was staffed by 180 officials[9] and comprises five directorates: Foreign & Defence Policy; the Civil Contingencies Secretariat; Security & Intelligence; the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance, and UK Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT UK).[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Press Notice: Establishment of a National Security Council". http://www.number10.gov.uk number10.gov.uk. 12 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Cabinet Committee Membership Lists" (PDF). Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Cabinet Committee Memberships" (PDF). Cabinet Office HM Government. June 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Cabinet Office Structure Charts, page 12" (PDF). Cabinet Office HM Government. May 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2010. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b [1] UK Cabinet Committees Membership
  6. ^ "Cabinet Office staff and salary data – senior posts as at 31 March 2013". Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Dr Joe Devanny & Josh Harris. "The National Security Council: national security at the centre of government". Institute for Government & King's College London. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  8. ^ Sophia Adhami. "Security and Diversity". Cabinet Office. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "National Security Council:Written question - 215980". Retrieved 15 December 2014. 

External links[edit]