Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

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United Kingdom
Secretary of State for
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
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Gregclark.jpg
Incumbent
Greg Clark

since 14 July 2016
Department for Business, Energy and
Industrial Strategy
Style The Right Honourable
(Formal prefix)
Business Secretary
Appointer Elizabeth II
Inaugural holder Edward Heath
(Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development)
Formation 20 October 1963
(Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development)
14 July 2016
(Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Website Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
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Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DEBEIS), or informally Business Secretary, is a cabinet position in the United Kingdom government. The office is responsible for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (formerly the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and previous to that the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. The secretary of state was, until July 2016, also President of the Board of Trade when that position was transferred to the newly created post of Secretary of State for International Trade.[1]

History[edit]

During the government of Sir Alec Douglas-Home, the then President of the Board of Trade Edward Heath was given in addition the job of Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development. This title was not continued under Harold Wilson, but when Heath became Prime Minister in 1970 he decided to merge functions of the Board of Trade and the Ministry of Technology to create the Department of Trade and Industry. The head of this department became known as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and also retained the title of President of the Board of Trade.

When Harold Wilson re-entered office in March 1974, the office was split into the Department of Trade, the Department of Industry and the Department of Prices and Consumer Protection, resulting in the creation of three new positions: Secretary of State for Industry, Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection, and Secretary of State for Trade. The title President of the Board of Trade became the secondary title of the Secretary of State for Trade. In 1979 the Department of Prices and Consumer Protection was abolished by the incoming Conservative government and its responsibilities were reintegrated into the Department of Trade. In 1983 the offices of trade and industry were remerged and the title of Secretary of State for Trade and Industry was recreated. When Michael Heseltine held this office, he preferred to be known by the older title of President of the Board of Trade, and this practice was also followed by Ian Lang and Margaret Beckett. Heseltine's decision to reuse the old title caused some comment and it was discovered that the Board of Trade had not in fact met since the mid-nineteenth century.

Under Gordon Brown's premiership there were two renamings of the role and three re-alignments of responsibility. In his first cabinet of 2007, he called the post Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. In this change, the Better Regulation Executive was added to the department but the Office of Science and Innovation was lost. In 2008, the title remained the same but responsibility for energy was lost. In 2009, the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was merged into the existing department and the post became Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

In July 2016, Prime Minister Theresa May decided to merge the Department for Energy and Climate Change into this department with the responsibilities for post-19 education and skills being returned to the Department for Education resulting in the position being renamed to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. At the same time the post of President of the Board of Trade was transferred to the newly created post of Secretary of State for International Trade.

List of Secretaries of State[edit]

Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development (1963–1964)[edit]

Name Portrait Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
Edward Heath Heathdod.JPG 20 October 1963 16 October 1964 Conservative Alec Douglas-Home

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1970–1974)[edit]

Name Portrait Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
John Davies Blank.png 15 October 1970 5 November 1972 Conservative Edward Heath
Peter Walker Blank.png 5 November 1972 4 March 1974

Secretaries of State for Industry; Prices; and Trade (1974–1983)[edit]

Secretary of State for Industry

Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection

Secretary of State for Trade

Political party Prime Minister
Name Took office Left office Name Took office Left office Name Took office Left office
Tony Benn 5 March 1974 10 June 1975 Shirley Williams 5 March 1974 10 September 1976 Peter Shore 5 March 1974 8 April 1976 Labour Harold Wilson
Eric Varley 10 June 1975 4 May 1979
Edmund Dell 8 April 1976 11 November 1978 Labour James Callaghan
Roy Hattersley 10 September 1976 4 May 1979
John Smith 11 November 1978 4 May 1979
Keith Joseph 4 May 1979 14 September 1981 OFFICE ABOLISHED
(responsibilities returned to the Trade Secretary)
John Nott 5 May 1979 5 January 1981 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
John Biffen 5 January 1981 6 April 1982
Patrick Jenkin 14 September 1981 12 June 1983
The Lord Cockfield 6 April 1982 12 June 1983

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1983–2007)[edit]

Name Portrait Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
Cecil Parkinson Blank.png 12 June 1983 11 October 1983 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Norman Tebbit Norman Tebbit Edinburgh University Politics Society 2008.JPG 16 October 1983 2 September 1985
Leon Brittan Lord Brittan 2011.jpg 2 September 1985 22 January 1986
Paul Channon Blank.png 24 January 1986 13 June 1987
The Lord Young of Graffham Lord young of Graffham.jpg 13 June 1987 24 July 1989
Nicholas Ridley Blank.png 24 July 1989 13 July 1990
Peter Lilley Peter Lilley.jpg 14 July 1990 10 April 1992
Conservative John Major
Michael Heseltine Lord Heseltine, Deputy Prime Minister, UK (1995-97) (10559130986).jpg 10 April 1992 5 July 1995
Ian Lang Blank.png 5 July 1995 2 May 1997
Margaret Beckett Margaret Beckett May 2007.jpg 2 May 1997 27 July 1998 Labour Tony Blair
Peter Mandelson Peter Mandelson at Politics of Climate Change 3.jpg 27 July 1998 23 December 1998
Stephen Byers Blank.png 23 December 1998 8 June 2001
Patricia Hewitt Patricia Hewitt.jpg 8 June 2001 6 May 2005
Alan Johnson†† Alan Johnson -9Oct2007-2.jpg 6 May 2005 5 May 2006
Alistair Darling AlistairDarlingABr cropped.jpg 5 May 2006 27 June 2007

† — Primarily referred to as President of the Board of Trade, and not as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry

†† — Alan Johnson was initially announced on 6 May 2005, after the general election, as being "Secretary of State for Productivity, Energy and Industry and President of the Board of Trade", but after just a week, on 13 May, it was declared that the new title would not be used, after widespread derision of the new name, because the abbreviation for Johnson's title, Productivity, Energy and Industry Secretary, would have been "PENIS"[2]

Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (2007–2009)[edit]

Name Portrait Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
John Hutton Msc 2009-Sunday, 11.00 - 12.30 Uhr-Zwez 005 Hutton detail.jpg 28 June 2007 3 October 2008 Labour Gordon Brown
The Lord Mandelson Peter Mandelson at Politics of Climate Change 3.jpg 3 October 2008 5 June 2009

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (2009–2016)[edit]

Name Portrait Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
The Lord Mandelson Peter Mandelson at Politics of Climate Change 3.jpg 5 June 2009 11 May 2010 Labour Gordon Brown
Vince Cable Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills.jpg 12 May 2010 8 May 2015 Liberal Democrats David Cameron
(Coalition)
Sajid Javid Sajid Javid Secretary of State.jpg 11 May 2015 14 July 2016 Conservative David Cameron
(II)

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (since 2016)[edit]

Name Portrait Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
Greg Clark Gregclark.jpg 14 July 2016 Incumbent Conservative Theresa May

References[edit]