Ministerial role

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office


The minister is based at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Responsibilities include:

  • Africa
  • Overseas Territories (not Falklands, SBAs or Gibraltar)
  • conflict issues
  • consular
  • protocol
  • ministerial oversight for FCO services
  • the Caribbean (not including Dominican Republic, Haiti or Cuba)
  • Illegal Wildlife Trade
  • Polar Regions

Current role holder: James Duddridge MP

James Duddridge MP was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on 11 August 2014. He was elected to Parliament in 2005 as the Conservative MP for Rochford & Southend East. James was educated at Essex University. He had a business career in the private sector, including ten years in the banking industry in Africa and London. He has vast experience on Africa affairs, a keen interest in financial matters and industry, and was a founding member of the polling forum YouGov.

Political Career

James entered the House of Commons in 2005. He was subsequently re-elected in 2015 with a majority of 9,476. During this time, he has held the following positions:

  • Chairman, All Party Parliamentary Group Africa
  • Chairman, Regulator Reform Committee
  • Member of Commons Environment Select Committee
  • Member of International Development Select Committee
  • Opposition Whip, responsible for Cabinet Office and Department for Work and Pensions, Jan – Dec 2008
  • Opposition Whip, responsible for HM Treasury, Dec 2008 – May 2010
  • Lord Commissioner and Government Whip, responsible for Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Department of Education, May 2010 – October 2011
  • Home Office Whip, October 2011 – September 2012

Personal life

James is married and has 3 children (aged 9, 7 and 4), and 2 cats.

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Grant Shapps

    • 2015 to 2015
  2. James Duddridge MP

    • 2014 to 2015
  3. Mark Simmonds

    • 2012 to 2014
  4. Henry Bellingham

    • 2010 to 2012


  1. British nationals overseas
  2. UK Overseas Territories
  3. Piracy off the coast of Somalia
  4. Iran's nuclear programme
  5. Conflict in fragile states


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  1. UK-US-Norway joint statement on South Sudan peace process

    • News story
  2. UK Government continues to lead the fight against illegal fishing

    • News story
  3. Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council 2015

    • Press release
  4. Open letter from the Minister of Africa to the Burundi Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

    • Press release
  5. FCO Minister condemns attack at Sahafi hotel in Mogadishu

    • Press release
  6. New video shows the devastating impact of forced marriage

    • Press release
  7. UK welcomes strong African Union leadership on Burundi

    • Press release
  8. Africa Security Speech

    • Speech
  9. Shapps: Africa can pioneer a solar revolution

    • Press release
  10. UK Minister pledges support for Nigeria’s energy, prosperity and security

    • Press release