Secretary of State for International Development

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Her Majesty's Principal
Secretary of State for International Development
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Department for International Development
StyleInternational Development Secretary
The Right Honourable
(UK and the Commonwealth)
StatusMinister of the Crown
Member ofCabinet
Privy Council
National Security Council
Reports toThe Prime Minister
AppointerThe Crown
on advice of the Prime Minister
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's Pleasure
Formation18 October 1964
First holderBarbara Castle
Final holderAnne-Marie Trevelyan
Abolished2 September 2020
DeputyMinister of State for International Development

The Secretary of State for International Development, also referred to as the International Development Secretary, was a senior Minister of the Crown within the Government of the United Kingdom, and head of the Department for International Development (DFID). The office formed part of the British Cabinet.

The Department for International Development was abolished in September 2020, and Anne-Marie Trevelyan was the final holder of the post.

The office was shadowed by the Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.


Corresponding to what is generally known as an international development minister in many other countries, the International Development Secretary's remit included:


A separate Ministry of Overseas Development was established by Harold Wilson when he came to office in 1964. The first three holders of the office served in the Cabinet, but from 29 August 1967 the office was demoted. Under Edward Heath, the Ministry was re-incorporated into the FCO on 15 October 1970. Wilson again established the Ministry in 1974, but later merged it into the FCO once again: from 10 June 1975 to 8 October 1979 the foreign secretary served as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Minister for Overseas Development in the cabinet, while the minister for overseas development held the rank of Minister of State within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The minister of state had day-to-day responsibility. Under the Labour government of the 1970s, Reg Prentice sat in the Cabinet during his term.[2] The post's last and main format was created in 1997 when the Department for International Development was made independent of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

In June 2020, it was announced the Department for International Development would be dissolved, and its operations would be merged into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The process was completed by 2 September 2020, with the last international development secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan remaining in place until that time.[3]

List of Ministers and Secretaries of State[edit]

Ministers of Overseas Development (1964–1970)[edit]

Minister of Overseas Development
Name Term of office Length of term Party Prime Minister
Barbara Castle 18 October 1964 23 December 1965 1 year, 2 months and 5 days Labour Harold Wilson
Anthony Greenwood 23 December 1965 11 August 1966 7 months and 19 days Labour
Arthur Bottomley 11 August 1966 29 August 1967 1 year and 18 days Labour
Reginald Prentice 29 August 1967 6 October 1969 2 years, 1 month and 7 days Labour
Judith Hart 6 October 1969 19 June 1970 8 months and 13 days Labour
Richard Wood 23 June 1970 15 October 1970 3 months and 22 days
(Cont. below)
Conservative Edward Heath

Ministers for Overseas Development (1970–1997)[edit]

Minister for Overseas Development at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Name Term of office Length of term Party Prime Minister
Richard Wood 15 October 1970 4 March 1974 3 years, 4 months and 17 days
(Cont. from above)
Conservative Edward Heath
Judith Hart 7 March 1974 10 June 1975 1 year, 3 months and 3 days Labour Harold Wilson
Reginald Prentice 10 June 1975 21 December 1976
1 year, 6 months and 11 days Labour
James Callaghan
Frank Judd 21 December 1976 21 February 1977 2 months Labour
Judith Hart 21 February 1977 4 May 1979 2 years, 2 months and 13 days Labour
Neil Marten 6 May 1979 6 January 1983 3 years and 8 months Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Tim Raison 6 January 1983 10 September 1986 3 years, 8 months and 4 days Conservative
Chris Patten 10 September 1986 24 July 1989 2 years, 10 months and 14 days Conservative
The Baroness Chalker of Wallasey
( Member of Parliament (MP) for Wallasey until 1992)
24 July 1989 2 May 1997 7 years, 9 months and 8 days Conservative
John Major

Secretaries of State for International Development (1997–2020)[edit]

Secretary of State for International Development
Portrait Name Term of office Length of term Party Prime Minister
Clare Short, Birmingham for Gaza, January 2009 cropped.jpg Clare Short 3 May 1997 12 May 2003 6 years and 9 days Labour Tony Blair
Baroness Valerie Ann Amos.jpg The Baroness Amos 12 May 2003 6 October 2003 4 months and 24 days Labour
Hilary Benn.jpg Hilary Benn 6 October 2003 28 June 2007 3 years, 8 months and 22 days Labour
Douglas Alexander at the India Economic Summit 2008.jpg Douglas Alexander 28 June 2007 11 May 2010 2 years, 10 months and 13 days Labour Gordon Brown
Andrew Mitchell Official.jpg Andrew Mitchell 12 May 2010 4 September 2012 2 years, 3 months and 23 days Conservative David Cameron
Justine Greening.jpg Justine Greening 4 September 2012 14 July 2016 3 years, 10 months and 10 days Conservative
David Cameron
Priti Patel 2016.jpg Priti Patel 14 July 2016 8 November 2017 1 year, 3 months and 25 days Conservative Theresa May
Theresa May
Official portrait of Penny Mordaunt crop 2.jpg Penny Mordaunt 9 November 2017 1 May 2019 1 year, 5 months and 22 days Conservative
Official portrait of Rory Stewart crop 2.jpg Rory Stewart 1 May 2019 24 July 2019 2 months and 23 days Conservative
Official portrait of Alok Sharma crop 2.jpg Alok Sharma 24 July 2019 13 February 2020 6 months and 20 days Conservative Boris Johnson
Official portrait of Mrs Anne-Marie Trevelyan crop 2.jpg Anne-Marie Trevelyan 13 February 2020 2 September 2020 6 months and 20 days Conservative


  1. ^ "Secretary of State for International Development - GOV.UK".
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 October 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Department for International Development to merge with Foreign Office". ITV News. 16 June 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2020.