Ministerial role

Secretary of State for Defence

Organisations: Ministry of Defence
Current role holder: The Rt Hon John Healey MP


The Secretary of State for Defence has overall responsibility for the business of the department.

Responsibilities include:

  • strategic campaign and operational oversight including as a member of the National Security Council 
  • Nuclear Deterrent (CAS-D) and operations policy and enterprise
  • Strategic Defence Review
  • Euro-Atlantic strategy and planning 
  • defence strategy, planning, programme, and resource allocation
  • relationships with strategic international partners: US, France, Germany, Australia, Ukraine
  • One Defence reform
  • oversight of Veterans Strategy
  • Afghan Inquiry
  • service personnel deaths on duty and letters of condolence 
  • strategic multilateral programmes
  • regulatory functions

Current role holder

The Rt Hon John Healey MP

John Healey was appointed Secretary of State for Defence on 5 July 2024. He was elected as the MP for Rawmarsh and Conisbrough in July 2024.

More about this person

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Grant Shapps

    2023 to 2024

  2. The Rt Hon Ben Wallace

    2019 to 2023

  3. The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt

    2019 to 2019

  4. The Rt Hon Sir Gavin Williamson CBE

    2017 to 2019

  5. The Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon

    2014 to 2017

  6. The Rt Hon Philip Hammond

    2011 to 2014

  7. The Rt Hon Liam Fox

    2010 to 2011