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Foreign Secretary
  (Redirected from Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
For other uses, see Foreign secretary (disambiguation).
The secretary of state for foreign, Commonwealth and development affairs, commonly known as the foreign secretary, is a senior minister of the Crown within the Government of the United Kingdom, and head of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. As one of the four Great Offices of State, the foreign secretary is a senior member of the British Cabinet.

Secretary of State
for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs

Royal Arms of HM Government
Incumbent
Dominic Raab
since 24 July 2019
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
StyleForeign Secretary
(informal)
The Right Honourable
(UK and Commonwealth)
His Excellency
(international)[1]
StatusGreat Office of State
Member ofCabinet
Privy Council
National Security Council (NSC)
Reports toThe prime minister
ResidenceNo. 1 Carlton Gardens
SeatWestminster
AppointerThe Crown
on advice of the prime minister
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
Formation27 March 1782
First holderCharles James Fox
Websitewww.gov.uk
The current secretary of state for foreign, Commonwealth and development affairs is Dominic Raab, MP, since his appointment by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July 2019.[2]
Responsibilities
Corresponding to what is generally known as a foreign minister in many other countries, the foreign secretary's remit includes:
Residence
The official residence of the Foreign Secretary is 1 Carlton Gardens, in London. The Foreign Secretary also has the use of Chevening House, a country house in Kent, South East England. The foreign secretary works out of the Foreign Office in Whitehall.
History
History of English and British government departments with responsibility for foreign affairs
and those with responsibility for the colonies, dominions and the Commonwealth
Northern Department
1660–1782
Secretaries
Undersecretaries
Foreign Office
1782–1968
Secretaries
Ministers
Undersecretaries
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
1968–2020 Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office since 2020
Secretaries
Ministers
Undersecretaries
Southern Department
1660–1768
Secretaries
Undersecretaries
Colonial Office
1768–1782
Secretaries
Undersecretaries
Home Office
1782–1794
Secretaries
Undersecretaries
War Office
1794–1801
Secretaries
Undersecretaries
War and Colonial Office
1801–1854
Secretaries
Undersecretaries
Colonial Office
1854–1925
Secretaries
Undersecretaries
Colonial Office
1925–1966
Secretaries
Ministers
Undersecretaries
Commonwealth Office
1966–1968
Secretaries
Ministers
Undersecretaries
Southern Department
1768–1782
Secretaries
Undersecretaries
Dominions Office
1925–1947
Secretaries
Undersecretaries
Commonwealth Relations Office
1947–1966
Secretaries
Ministers
Undersecretaries
.India Office
1858–1937
Secretaries
Undersecretaries
India Office
and
Burma Office
1937–1947
Secretaries
Undersecretaries
The title secretary of state in the government of England dates back to the early 17th century. 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 Foreign Office and Home Office respectively.[6] Eventually, the 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. Margaret Beckett, appointed in 2006 by Tony Blair, is the only woman to have held the post. The post of secretary of state for foreign, Commonwealth and development affairs was created in 2020 when position holder Dominic Raab absorbed the responsibilities of the secretary of state for international development.
List of foreign secretaries
Secretaries of state for foreign affairs (1782–1968)
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs[7]
PortraitName[8]
(Birth–Death)
Term of officePartyMinistryMonarch
(Reign)
Ref.
The Right Honourable
Charles James Fox
MP for Westminster
(1749–1806)
27 March
1782
5 July
1782
WhigRockingham IIGeorge III

(1760–1820)
[1782 1]
[7]
The Right Honourable
Thomas Robinson
2nd Baron Grantham
PC
(1738–1786)
13 July
1782
2 April
1783
WhigShelburne
(WhigTory)
[7]
The Right Honourable
Charles James Fox
MP for Westminster
(1749–1806)
2 April
1783
19 December
1783
WhigFox–North[7]
The Right Honourable
George Nugent-Temple-Grenville
3rd Earl Temple
PC
(1753–1813)
19 December
1783
23 December
1783
ToryPitt I[7]
His Grace
Francis Osborne
5th Duke of Leeds
KGPC
(1751–1799)
23 December
1783
May
1791
Tory[7]
The Right Honourable
William Grenville
1st Baron Grenville
PCPC (Ire)
(1759–1834)
8 June
1791
20 February
1801
Tory[7]
The Right Honourable
Robert Jenkinson
2nd Baron Hawkesbury
PCFRS
MP for Rye[1782 2]
(1770–1828)
20 February
1801
14 May
1804
Tory[7]
Addington
The Right Honourable
Dudley Ryder
2nd Baron Harrowby
PCFSA
(1762–1847)
14 May
1804
11 January
1805
ToryPitt II[7]
The Right Honourable
Henry Phipps
3rd Baron Mulgrave
PC
(1755–1831)
11 January
1805
7 February
1806
Tory[7]
The Right Honourable
Charles James Fox
MP for Westminster
(1749–1806)
7 February
1806
13 September
1806
WhigAll the Talents
(WhigTory)
[7]
The Right Honourable
Charles Grey
Viscount Howick
PC
MP for Northumberland
(1764–1845)
24 September
1806
25 March
1807
Whig[7]
The Right Honourable
George Canning
MP for Newtown (Isle of Wight)
Hastings[1782 3]
(1770–1827)
25 March
1807
11 October
1809
ToryPortland II[7]
The Right Honourable
Henry Bathurst
3rd Earl Bathurst
PC
(1762–1834)
11 October
1809
6 December
1809
ToryPerceval[7]
The Most Honourable
Richard Wellesley
1st Marquess Wellesley
KGPCPC (Ire)
(1760–1842)
6 December
1809
4 March
1812
Independent[7]
The Most Honourable
Robert Stewart
2nd Marquess of Londonderry
KGGCHPCPC (Ire)
(1769–1822)
4 March
1812
12 August
1822
ToryLiverpool[7]
George IV

(1820–1830)
The Right Honourable
George Canning
FRS
MP for 3 constituencies respectively
(1770–1827)
16 September
1822
30 April
1827
Tory[7]
The Right Honourable
John Ward
1st Earl of Dudley
PCFRS
(1781–1833)
30 April
1827
2 June
1828
ToryCanning
(CanningiteWhig)
[7]
Goderich
Wellington–Peel
The Right Honourable
George Hamilton-Gordon
4th Earl of Aberdeen
KTFRSPCFSA Scot
(1784–1860)
2 June
1828
22 November
1830
Tory[7]
William IV

(1830–1837)
The Right Honourable
Henry John Temple
3rd Viscount Palmerston
GCBPC
MP for 3 constituencies respectively
(1784–1865)
22 November
1830
14 November
1834
WhigGrey[7]
Melbourne I
Field MarshalHis Grace
Arthur Wellesley
1st Duke of Wellington
KGGCBGCHPC
(1769–1852)
14 November
1834
18 April
1835
ToryWellington Caretaker[7]
ConservativePeel I
The Right Honourable
Henry John Temple
3rd Viscount Palmerston
GCBPC
MP for Tiverton
(1784–1865)
18 April
1835
2 September
1841
WhigMelbourne II[7]
Victoria

(1837–1901)
The Right Honourable
George Hamilton-Gordon
4th Earl of Aberdeen
KTFRSPCFSA Scot
(1784–1860)
2 September
1841
6 July
1846
ConservativePeel II[7]
The Right Honourable
Henry John Temple
3rd Viscount Palmerston
GCBPC
MP for Tiverton
(1784–1865)
6 July
1846
26 December
1851
WhigRussell I[7]
The Right Honourable
Granville Leveson-Gower
2nd Earl Granville
PC
(1815–1891)
26 December
1851
27 February
1852
Whig[7]
The Right Honourable
James Howard Harris
3rd Earl of Malmesbury
PC
(1807–1889)
27 February
1852
28 December
1852
ConservativeWho? Who?[7]
The Right Honourable
Lord John Russell
FRS
MP for the City of London
(1792–1878)
28 December
1852
21 February
1853
WhigAberdeen
(PeeliteWhig)
[7]
The Right Honourable
George Villiers
4th Earl of Clarendon
KGGCBPC
(1800–1870)
21 February
1853
26 February
1858
Whig[7]
Palmerston I
The Right Honourable
James Howard Harris
3rd Earl of Malmesbury
GCBPC
(1807–1889)
26 February
1858
18 June
1859
ConservativeDerby–Disraeli II[7]
The Right Honourable
John Russell
1st Earl Russell
KGPCFRS
(1792–1878)
18 June
1859
3 November
1865
LiberalPalmerston II[7]
The Right Honourable
George Villiers
4th Earl of Clarendon
KGGCBPC
(1800–1870)
3 November
1865
6 July
1866
LiberalRussell II[7]
The Right Honourable
Edward Stanley
Lord Stanley
PCFRS
MP for King's Lynn
(1826–1893)
6 July
1866
9 December
1868
ConservativeDerby–Disraeli III[7]
The Right Honourable
George Villiers
4th Earl of Clarendon
KGGCBPC
(1800–1870)
9 December
1868
6 July
1870
LiberalGladstone I[7]
The Right Honourable
Granville Leveson-Gower
2nd Earl Granville
KGPCFRS
(1815–1891)
6 July
1870
21 February
1874
Liberal[7]
The Right Honourable
Edward Stanley
15th Earl of Derby
PCFRS
(1826–1893)
21 February
1874
2 April
1878
ConservativeDisraeli II[7]
The Most Honourable
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
3rd Marquess of Salisbury
KGPCFRSDL
(1830–1903)
2 April
1878
28 April
1880
Conservative[7]
The Right Honourable
Granville Leveson-Gower
2nd Earl Granville
KGPCFRS
(1815–1891)
28 April
1880
24 June
1885
LiberalGladstone II[7]
The Most Honourable
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
3rd Marquess of Salisbury
KGPCFRSDL
(1830–1903)
24 June
1885
6 February
1886
ConservativeSalisbury I[7]
The Right Honourable
Archibald Primrose
5th Earl of Rosebery
PCFRS
(1847–1929)
6 February
1886
3 August
1886
LiberalGladstone III[7]
The Right Honourable
Stafford Northcote
1st Earl of Iddesleigh
GCBPCFRS
(1818–1887)
3 August
1886
12 January
1887
ConservativeSalisbury II[7]
The Most Honourable
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
3rd Marquess of Salisbury
KGPCFRSDL
(1830–1903)
14 January
1887
11 August
1892
Conservative[7]
The Right Honourable
Archibald Primrose
5th Earl of Rosebery
KGPCFRS
(1847–1929)
18 August
1892
11 March
1894
LiberalGladstone IV[7]
The Right Honourable
John Wodehouse
1st Earl of Kimberley
KGPCDL
(1826–1902)
11 March
1894
21 June
1895
LiberalRosebery[7]
The Most Honourable
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
3rd Marquess of Salisbury
KGPCFRSDL
(1830–1903)
29 June
1895
12 November
1900
ConservativeSalisbury
(III & IV)
(Con.Lib.U.)
[7]
The Most Honourable
Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice
5th Marquess of Lansdowne
KG​GCSI​GCMG​GCIE​PC
(1845–1927)
12 November
1900
4 December
1905
Liberal Unionist[7]
Edward VII

(1901–1910)
Balfour
The Right Honourable
Sir Edward Grey
BtDL
MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed
(1862–1933)
10 December
1905
10 December
1916
LiberalCampbell-Bannerman[7]
Asquith
(I–III)
George V

(1910–1936)
Asquith Coalition
(Lib.Con.–et al.)
The Right Honourable
Arthur Balfour
OMFRSDL
MP for the City of London
(1848–1930)
10 December
1916
23 October
1919
Conservative
Lloyd George
(I & II)
[7]
The Most Honourable
George Curzon
1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
KGGCSIGCIEPC
(1859–1925)
23 October
1919
22 January
1924
Conservative[7]
Law
Baldwin I
The Right Honourable
Ramsay MacDonald
MP for Aberavon
(1866–1937)
22 January
1924
3 November
1924
LabourMacDonald I[7]
The Right Honourable
Sir Austen Chamberlain
KG
MP for Birmingham West
(1863–1937)
6 November
1924
4 June
1929
ConservativeBaldwin II[7]
The Right Honourable
Arthur Henderson
MP for Burnley
(1863–1935)
7 June
1929
24 August
1931
LabourMacDonald II[7]
The Most Honourable
Rufus Isaacs
1st Marquess of Reading
GCB​GCSI​GCIE​GCVO​PC​KC
(1860–1935)
25 August
1931
5 November
1931
LiberalNational I
(N.Lab.Con.–et al.)
[7]
The Right Honourable
Sir John Simon
GCSIOBE
MP for Spen Valley
(1873–1954)
5 November
1931
7 June
1935
Liberal NationalNational II[7]
The Right Honourable
Sir Samuel Hoare
BtGCSIGBECMGJP
MP for Chelsea
(1880–1959)
7 June
1935
18 December
1935
ConservativeNational III
(Con.N.Lab.–et al.)
[7]
The Right Honourable
Anthony Eden
MC
MP for Warwick & Leamington
(1897–1977)
22 December
1935
20 February
1938
Conservative[7]
Edward VIII

(1936)
George VI

(1936–1952)
National IV
The Right Honourable
Edward Wood
3rd Viscount Halifax
PC
(1881–1959)
21 February
1938
22 December
1940
Conservative[7]
Chamberlain War
Churchill War
(All parties)
The Right Honourable
Anthony Eden
MC
MP for Warwick & Leamington
(1897–1977)
22 December
1940
26 July
1945
Conservative[7]
Churchill Caretaker
(Con.Lib.N.)
The Right Honourable
Ernest Bevin
MP for Wandsworth Central
Woolwich East[1782 4]
(1881–1951)
27 July
1945
9 March
1951
Labour
Attlee
(I & II)
[7]
The Right Honourable
Herbert Morrison
MP for Lewisham South
(1888–1965)
9 March
1951
26 October
1951
Labour[7]
The Right Honourable
Sir Anthony Eden
KGMC
MP for Warwick & Leamington
(1897–1977)
28 October
1951
7 April
1955
ConservativeChurchill III[7]
Elizabeth II

(1952–present)
The Right Honourable
Harold Macmillan
MP for Bromley
(1894–1986)
7 April
1955
20 December
1955
ConservativeEden[7]
The Right Honourable
Selwyn Lloyd
CBEQC
MP for Wirral
(1904–1978)
20 December
1955
27 July
1960
Conservative[7]
Macmillan
(I & II)
The Right Honourable
Alec Douglas-Home
14th Earl of Home
PC
(1903–1995)
27 July
1960
18 October
1963
Conservative[7]
The Right Honourable
Richard Austen Butler
CH
MP for Saffron Walden
(1902–1982)
20 October
1963
16 October
1964
ConservativeDouglas-Home[7]
The Right Honourable
Patrick Gordon Walker
Neither an MP nor a Lord[1782 5]
(1907–1980)
16 October
1964
22 January
1965
Labour
Wilson
(I & II)
[7]
The Right Honourable
Michael Stewart
MP for Fulham
(1906–1990)
22 January
1965
11 August
1966
Labour[7]
The Right Honourable
George Brown
MP for Belper
(1914–1985)
11 August
1966
16 March
1968
Labour[7]
The Right Honourable
Michael Stewart
MP for Fulham
(1906–1990)
16 March
1968
17 October
1968
Labour[7]
[9][10]
^† Died in office.
  1. ^ The Prince of Wales served as Prince Regent from 5 February 1811.
  2. ^ Elevated to the Peerage of the United Kingdom in November 1803.
  3. ^ Elected to a new constituency in the 1807 general election.
  4. ^ Elected to a new constituency in the 1950 general election.
  5. ^ Walker was the MP for Smethwick and Labour's shadow Foreign Secretary, prior to the 1964 general election. He lost his seat in the election but was appointed to the post anyway. He resigned after fighting and losing a 1965 by-election in Leyton.
Secretaries of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs (1968–2020)
Post created through the merger of the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Office.
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
PortraitName[8]
(Birth–Death)
Term of officePartyMinistrySovereign
(Reign)
Ref.
The Right Honourable
Michael Stewart
MP for Fulham
(1906–1990)
17 October
1968
19 June
1970
Labour
Wilson
(I & II)
Elizabeth II

(1952–present)
[7]
The Right Honourable
Sir Alec Douglas-Home
KT
MP for Kinross and Western Perthshire
(1903–1995)
20 June
1970
4 March
1974
ConservativeHeath[7]
The Right Honourable
James Callaghan
MP for Cardiff South East
(1912–2005)
5 March
1974
5 April
1976
Labour
Wilson
(III & IV)
[7]
The Right Honourable
Anthony Crosland
MP for Great Grimsby
(1918–1977)
8 April
1976
19 February
1977
LabourCallaghan[7]
The Right Honourable
David Owen
MP for Plymouth Devonport
(born 1938)
22 February
1977
4 May
1979
Labour[7]
The Right Honourable
Peter Carington
6th Baron Carrington
KCMGMCPCDL
(1919–2018)
4 May
1979
5 April
1982
ConservativeThatcher I[7]
The Right Honourable
Francis Pym
MC
MP for Cambridgeshire
(1922–2008)
6 April
1982
11 June
1983
Conservative[7]
The Right Honourable
Sir Geoffrey Howe
QC
MP for East Surrey
(1926–2015)
11 June
1983
24 July
1989
ConservativeThatcher II[7]
Thatcher III
The Right Honourable
John Major
MP for Huntingdon
(born 1943)
24 July
1989
26 October
1989
Conservative[7]
The Right Honourable
Douglas Hurd
CBE
MP for Witney
(born 1930)
26 October
1989
5 July
1995
Conservative[7]
Major I
Major II
The Right Honourable
Malcolm Rifkind
QC
MP for Edinburgh Pentlands
(born 1946)
5 July
1995
2 May
1997
Conservative[7]
The Right Honourable
Robin Cook
MP for Livingston
(1946–2005)
2 May
1997
8 June
2001
LabourBlair I[7]
The Right Honourable
Jack Straw
MP for Blackburn
(born 1946)
8 June
2001
5 May
2006
LabourBlair II[7]
Blair III
The Right Honourable
Margaret Beckett
MP for Derby South
(born 1943)
5 May
2006
27 June
2007
Labour[7]
The Right Honourable
David Miliband
MP for South Shields
(born 1965)
28 June
2007
11 May
2010
LabourBrown[7]
The Right Honourable
William Hague
FRSL
MP for Richmond (Yorks)
(born 1961)
12 May
2010
14 July
2014
ConservativeCameron–Clegg
(Con.L.D.)
[7]
The Right Honourable
Philip Hammond
MP for Runnymede and Weybridge
(born 1955)
14 July
2014
13 July
2016
Conservative[7]
Cameron II
The Right Honourable
Boris Johnson
MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip
(born 1964)
13 July
2016
9 July
2018
ConservativeMay I[7][11]
May II
The Right Honourable
Jeremy Hunt
MP for South West Surrey
(born 1966)
9 July
2018
24 July
2019
Conservative[12]
The Right Honourable
Dominic Raab
MP for Esher and Walton
(born 1974)
24 July
2019
2 September
2020
ConservativeJohnson I[2]
Johnson II
Secretaries of state for foreign, Commonwealth and development affairs (2020–present)
Post created through the merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.
Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs
PortraitName[8]
(Birth–Death)
Term of officePartyMinistrySovereign
(Reign)
Ref.
The Right Honourable
Dominic Raab
MP for Esher and Walton
(born 1974)
2 September
2020
IncumbentConservativeJohnson IIElizabeth II

(1952–present)
See also
References
  1. ^ "Public List" (PDF). Protocol and Liaison Service. United Nations. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b Andrew Sparrow (24 July 2019). "Raab appointed foreign secretary and first secretary of state". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  3. ^​https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/cabinetpapers/cabinet-gov/senior-cabinet-posts.htm
  4. ^ a b "Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Ministerial responsibility". GCHQ. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2017. Day-to-day ministerial responsibility for GCHQ lies with the Foreign Secretary.
  6. ^ Sainty, J. C. (1973). "Introduction". Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 2 - Officials of the Secretaries of State 1660-1782. British History Online. University of London. pp. 1–21. At the Restoration [in 1660] the practice of appointing two Secretaries of State, which was well established before the Civil War, was resumed. Apart from the modifications which were made necessary by the occasional existence of a third secretaryship, the organisation of the secretariat underwent no fundamental change from that time until the reforms of 1782 which resulted in the emergence of the Home and Foreign departments. ... English domestic affairs remained the responsibility of both Secretaries throughout the period. In the field of foreign affairs there was a division into a Northern and a Southern Department, each of which was the responsibility of one Secretary. The distinction between the two departments emerged only gradually. It was not until after 1689 that their names passed into general currency. Nevertheless the division of foreign business itself can, in its broad outlines, be detected in the early years of the reign of Charles II.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab acad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av awax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bpbq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch"Past Foreign Secretaries". gov.uk. Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Including honorifics and constituencies for elected MPs.
  9. ^ https://www.arbetsformedlingen.se/For-arbetssokande/Platsbanken/annonser/8378625
  10. ^​https://www.google.se/maps/@59.3230053,18.0720313,587a,35y,90h/data=!3m1!1e3
  11. ^ "Boris Johnson quits to add to pressure on May over Brexit". BBC News. 9 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Jeremy Hunt replaces Boris Johnson as foreign secretary". BBC News. 9 July 2018.
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