Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
|Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs|
|Foreign and Commonwealth Office|
|Reports to||Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
|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
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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 Foreign Secretary is a member of the Cabinet, and the post is considered one of the Great Offices of State. It is considered a position similar to that of Foreign Minister in other countries.
The Foreign Secretary'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. The Foreign Secretary also has ministerial oversight for the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The Foreign Secretary works out of the Foreign Office in Whitehall, and the post's official residences are 1 Carlton Gardens in London and Chevening in Kent. Margaret Beckett, appointed in 2006 by Tony Blair, is the only woman to have held the post.
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. Eventually, 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 constituent predecessor department of the Foreign Office, as were the Colonial Office and the Dominions Office.
List of Foreign Secretaries
Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs (1782–1968)
- ^† Died in office.
- The Prince of Wales served as Prince Regent from 5 February 1811.
- Elevated to the Peerage of the United Kingdom in November 1803.
- Elected to a new constituency in the 1807 general election.
- The Liberal Party withdrew on 28 September 1932.
- Elected to a new constituency in the 1950 general election.
- Lost seat in the 1964 general election.
Secretaries of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1968–present)
- Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
- Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
- Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs
- Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
- Secretary of State for the Colonies
- Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
- Foreign minister
- Great Offices of State
- "Public List" (PDF). Protocol and Liason Service. United Nations. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- "Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- "Ministerial responsibility". GCHQ. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
Day-to-day ministerial responsibility for GCHQ lies with the Foreign Secretary.
- "Past Foreign Secretaries". gov.uk. Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
- Including honorifics and constituencies for elected MPs.
- "Ministry". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- Defined as a period of government under one or two predominant ministers.
- "Resignation letter by Liberal ministers to Ramsay MacDonald" (Letter). Letter to Ramsay MacDonald. Samuel papers. 28 September 1932. SAM/A/89/84.
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