Ministerial role

Minister of State for the Armed Forces

Responsibilities

The minister is responsible for the armed forces, including: operations, operational policy, operational legal matters, training and force generation.

Priority areas:

  • armed forces operations
  • armed forces personnel policy and issues (regular and reserve)
  • force generation ‘improving military productivity’

Other responsibilities include:

  • deputise for the Secretary of State
  • Defence Board member
  • cyber
  • overseas military capacity building
  • Permanent Joint Operating Bases and Overseas Territories

Current role holder: The Rt Hon Mark Francois MP

Mark Francois was appointed Minister of State for the Armed Forces in October 2013. He is the Conservative MP for Rayleigh and Wickford.

Education

Mark was born in Islington in 1965 and moved to Basildon in Essex in 1971. He now lives in Rayleigh.

He studied history at Bristol University and War Studies at King’s College, London. He served as an infantry officer in the Territorial Army, including with the local Royal Anglian Regiment, in the 1980s.

Political career

  • Member of Basildon District Council, 1991 and served as the Vice-Chairman of the Housing Committee, 1992 to1995
  • MP for Rayleigh, June 2001 to present
  • Opposition Whips’ office with departmental responsibility for home affairs, health and education, 2002 to 2004
  • Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury, 2004 to 2005, and Shadow Paymaster General, 2005
  • Shadow Minister for Europe 2007, and member of the Shadow Cabinet, 2009
  • Vice Chamberlain of Her Majesty’s Household, a senior position in the Government Whips Office, 2010
  • Member of the Privy Council, 2010

Career outside politics

Before becoming an MP, Mark worked in banking and as a self-employed consultant. In 1988 he joined lobbying company Market Access International, leaving as a director in 1996 to set up his own lobbying firm Francois Associates.

Personal life

Mark enjoys reading, hill walking and history, particularly military history.

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Andrew Robathan MP

    • 2012 to 2013
  2. Sir Nick Harvey MP

    • 2010 to 2012

Policies

under the responsibility of The Rt Hon Mark Francois MP as Minister of State for the Armed Forces

  1. Preventing and reducing piracy off the coast of Somalia

    • 12 December 2012

Announcements

by Minister of State for the Armed Forces

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  1. Defence in Scotland

    • 16 April 2014
    • News story
  2. Europe's largest military exercise impresses minister

    • 7 April 2014
    • News story
  3. Remotely piloted aircraft report

    • 25 March 2014
    • News story
  4. Defence minister visits British forces in Cyprus

    • 14 March 2014
    • News story
  5. Apprenticeship opportunities at leading defence firm

    • 8 March 2014
    • News story
  6. Welsh Cavalry treated to royal visit

    • 28 February 2014
    • News story
  7. HMS Montrose begins journey home

    • 26 February 2014
    • News story
  8. Royal Navy ship assists in Caribbean drugs bust

    • 24 February 2014
    • News story
  9. Military to assist flood recovery work

    • 20 February 2014
    • News story
  10. Reserves deployed to bolster flood relief efforts

    • 17 February 2014
    • News story

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