Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

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Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
Official portrait of Dan Carden crop 2.jpg
Dan Carden

since 1 December 2018
AppointerLeader of the Opposition
WebsiteThe Shadow Cabinet

The Shadow Secretary of State for International Development is the lead spokesperson for the United Kingdom's Official Opposition on issues related to the Department for International Development (DfID), which is responsible for international aid, most notably to the third world. The Shadow Secretary (usually with one or more junior shadow ministers) also holds the Secretary of State for International Development and other DfID ministers to account in Parliament. Before Tony Blair established DfID after coming to power in 1997, there was a Minister for Overseas Development ("Minister of" before 1970) who was a part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Since 1989, the Shadow Minister or Shadow Secretary has usually been a member of the Shadow Cabinet.

Shadow Ministers and Secretaries[edit]

Shadow Minister for Overseas Development[edit]

Name Took office Left office Political party Leader
Robert Carr Robert Carr2.jpg October 1964 October 1965 Conservative Alec Douglas-Home
Christopher Chataway Christopher Chataway (1972).jpg October 1965 31 March 1966 Conservative Edward Heath
Richard Wood No image.svg April 1966 c. October 1967 Conservative
Bernard Braine Bernard Braine.jpg c. October 1967 15 June 1970 Conservative
Judith Hart No image.svg 19 June 1970 4 March 1974 Labour Harold Wilson
Richard Wood No image.svg 4 March 1974 18 February 1975 Conservative Edward Heath
Unclear; possibly none[n 1] No image.svg 18 February 1975 15 January 1976 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Richard Luce Official portrait of Lord Luce crop 2.jpg 15 January 1976 4 May 1979 Conservative
Judith Hart No image.svg 4 May 1979 8 December 1980 Labour James Callaghan
Frank McElhone No image.svg 8 December 1980 22 September 1982 Labour Michael Foot
Guy Barnett No image.svg 24 November 1982 31 October 1983 Labour
Stuart Holland No image.svg 31 October 1983 13 July 1987 Labour Neil Kinnock
Unclear No image.svg 13 July 1987 2 November 1989 Labour
Ann Clwyd Official portrait of Ann Clwyd crop 2.jpg 2 November 1989[1] 18 July 1992 Labour
Michael Meacher Michael Meacher 2005-12-09.jpg 18 July 1992[2] 21 October 1993 Labour John Smith
Tom Clarke TomClarkeMP.jpg 21 October 1993[3] 20 October 1994 Labour
Margaret Beckett
Joan Lestor No image.svg 20 October 1994[4] October 1996 Labour Tony Blair
Clare Short Clare Short, Birmingham for Gaza, January 2009 cropped.jpg 25 July 1996[5] 2 May 1997 Labour

Shadow Secretary of State for International Development[edit]

Name Took office Left office Political party Leader
Unclear[n 2] 2 May 1997 30 June 1997 Conservative John Major
Alastair Goodlad Official portrait of Lord Goodlad crop 2.jpg 30 June 1997[7] 1 June 1998 Conservative William Hague
Gary Streeter Official portrait of Mr Gary Streeter crop 2.jpg 1 June 1998[8] 14 September 2001 Conservative
Caroline Spelman Official portrait of Dame Caroline Spelman crop 2.jpg 14 September 2001[9] 10 November 2003 Conservative Iain Duncan Smith
John Bercow John Bercow.JPG 10 November 2003[10] 8 September 2004 Conservative Michael Howard
Alan Duncan Official portrait of Sir Alan Duncan crop 2.jpg 8 September 2004[11] 10 May 2005 Conservative
Andrew Mitchell Official portrait of Mr Andrew Mitchell crop 2.jpg 10 May 2005[12][13] 11 May 2010 Conservative
Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander MP at Chatham House 2015 crop.jpg 11 May 2010[n 3] 8 October 2010 Labour Harriet Harman
Harriet Harman Official portrait of Ms Harriet Harman crop 2.jpg 8 October 2010[16] 7 October 2011 Labour Ed Miliband
Ivan Lewis Official portrait of Mr Ivan Lewis crop 2.jpg 7 October 2011[17] 7 October 2013 Labour
Jim Murphy Jim Murphy.jpg 7 October 2013[18] 2 November 2014 Labour
Mary Creagh Official portrait of Mary Creagh crop 2.jpg 5 November 2014[19] 12 September 2015 Labour
Harriet Harman
Diane Abbott Official portrait of Ms Diane Abbott crop 2.jpg 13 September 2015[20] 27 June 2016 Labour Jeremy Corbyn
Kate Osamor Official portrait of Kate Osamor crop 2.jpg 27 June 2016[21] 1 December 2018 Labour
Dan Carden
Official portrait of Dan Carden crop 2.jpg 1 December 2018 Incumbent Labour


  1. ^ Richard Wood replied for the Opposition in a debate on 24 February, six days after Margaret Thatcher named her Shadow Cabinet. Various other Conservatives, including the Reginald Maudling (as Shadow Foreign Secretary), Peter Tapsell, and John Davies (as Shadow Foreign Secretary) replied in debates on overseas development thereafter.
  2. ^ John Major's interim Shadow Cabinet consisted of those members of his Cabinet who retained their seats at the 1997 general election, but there had been no International Development Secretary, and the Overseas Development Minister was not in Cabinet. According to the Shadow Cabinet list, Major himself was responsible for Foreign Affairs (the department responsible for development in his government), but ministers could "call on the services of Members who served under them in Government".[6] It is unknown whether Major called on the service of Baroness Chalker of Wallasey, the last Minister for Overseas Development, during the approximately two months before William Hague was elected leader. Therefore it is unclear whether the office was vacant or non-existent, or whether Major or Chalker should be considered to have held it.
  3. ^ Under Labour Party rules, ministers shadow their former roles when the party enters opposition.[14] Alexander was International Development Secretary when Gordon Brown resigned as Prime Minister.[15]


  1. ^ "Kinnock splits his top Treasury team". The Glasgow Herald. 2 November 1989. p. 1.
  2. ^ Timmins, Nicholas (25 July 1992). "Smith revamps Shadow Cabinet: Nicholas Timmins analyses the Labour line-up and looks at the backgrounds of the newcomers". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  3. ^ Linton, Martin (22 October 1993). "Women's lists 'not illegal': The New Shadow Cabinet". The Guardian. Manchester. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  4. ^ Timms, Nicholas (21 October 1994). "Blair uses reshuffle to put own sta on Shadow Cabinet: Brown stays as shadow Chancellor—Cook takes foreign affairs—Straw is shadow Home Secretary—Beckett moves to health". The Independent. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  5. ^ Rentoul, John (26 July 1996). "A rare national treasure in peril". The Independent.
  6. ^ "Opposition Front Bench Spokespersons as at 13 May 1997 (Interim List)". Weekly Information Bulletin. House of Commons Information Office. 17 May 1997.
  7. ^ "Hague Makes Final Appointments". Politics 97. BBC News. 24 June 1997. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Hague reshuffles shadow cabinet". 1 June 1998. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Eurosceptics prosper under Duncan Smith". BBC News. 14 September 2001. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  10. ^ "Howard unveils his top team". BBC News. 10 November 2003. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  11. ^ "Howard expands shadow cabinet in reshuffle". The Telegraph. 8 September 2005. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  12. ^ "Reshuffle deals Tories mixed hand". The Scotsman. 11 May 2005. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  13. ^ "Cameron's frontlilne team unveiled". BBC News. 8 December 2005.
  14. ^ Prince, Rosa (21 May 2010). "Mandelson and Adonis step down". The Telegraph.
  15. ^ "Douglas Alexander MP". House of Commons Information Office. Archived from the original on 20 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  16. ^ Prince, Rosa (8 October 2010). "Ed Miliband unveils shocks in shadow cabinet selections". The Telegraph.
  17. ^ "Labour's Shadow Cabinet". 7 October 2011. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Shadow Cabinet: Who's In And Who's Out?". Sky News. 14 September 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  21. ^ Jamie Grierson and Anushka Asthana (27 June 2016). "Jeremy Corbyn unveils new shadow cabinet after raft of resignations". The Guardian.