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. Typhoons launch with new missile

    • News story
  2. Defence Secretary says DASA is ‘shining example’ of defence innovation

    • News story
  3. Defence Secretary announces £400m investment for nuclear-armed submarines

    • News story
  4. UK-US defence partnership to reach new heights in years ahead

    • News story
  5. New military chiefs appointed

    • News story
  6. Defence Secretary announces new additions to Innovation Panel

    • News story
  7. Small businesses behind Defence’s biggest projects recognised

    • News story
  8. New frigate named HMS Edinburgh

    • News story
  9. Update: air strikes against Daesh

    • News story
  10. Operational Honours and Awards list November 2018

    • News story