Ministerial role

Secretary of State for Defence


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

  • strategic operations and operational strategy, including membership of the National Security Council
  • defence planning, programme and resource allocation
  • strategic international partnerships: US, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, NATO
  • nuclear operations, policy and organisations
  • strategic communications

Current role holder: The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP

The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP was appointed Secretary of State for Defence on 2 November 2017. He was Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury) from 14 July 2016 to 2 November 2017.

He was elected Conservative MP for South Staffordshire in May 2010.

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP

    • 2014 to 2017
  2. The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP

    • 2011 to 2014
  3. The Rt Hon Liam Fox MP

    • 2010 to 2011


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  1. Defence Secretary launches £132m Scots sub-hunting aircraft home

    • News story
  2. RAF’s legendary Dambusters squadron reforms to fly F-35 jets

    • News story
  3. Defence Secretary highlights importance of partnering with charities during visit to military recovery centre

    • News story
  4. RAF jets strike chemical weapon facility in Syria

    • News story
  5. Security in the Gulf is vital to keeping Britain safe

    • Press release
  6. Royal Navy ships fulfil international duty in Asia Pacific

    • News story
  7. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle meet Invictus Games UK Team hopefuls

    • News story
  8. New Royal Navy operations hub opens in Gulf

    • News story
  9. Update: air strikes against Daesh

    • News story
  10. General Sir Nick Carter appointed new Chief of the Defence Staff

    • News story