Ministerial role

Secretary of State for Defence


The Secretary of State for Defence has overall responsibility for the business of the department providing strategic direction on policy, operations, acquisition and personnel matters, including:

  • operational strategy, including as a member of the National Security Council
  • defence planning, programme and resource allocation
  • international relations
  • defence exports policy, including as chair of the cross-Government Exports Working Group
  • nuclear programme
  • communications

Current role holder: The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP

Philip Hammond was appointed Secretary of State for Defence in 2011. He is the Conservative MP for Runnymede and Weybridge.


Philip was born in Epping, Essex in 1955 and attended school in Brentwood before studying politics, philosophy and economics at University College, Oxford.

Political career

He was previously Secretary of State for Transport from May 2010, when he was appointed as a Privy Counsellor. Prior to this, he held a number of shadow portfolios. He was elected to Parliament in 1997.

Career outside politics

Philip had a business career in small and medium-sized companies in manufacturing, consultancy, property and construction, and oil and gas, both in the UK and abroad.

Personal life

He is married with 3 children and lives in Send, Surrey.

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Liam Fox MP

    • 2010 to 2011


under the responsibility of The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP as Secretary of State for Defence

  1. Maintaining operational readiness to provide military support for activities in the UK

    • 21 May 2013
  2. Working towards nuclear disarmament

    • 25 March 2013
  3. Meeting NATO and EU Treaty defence commitments

    • 12 December 2012
  4. Maintaining an effective, independent nuclear deterrent

    • 12 December 2012


by Secretary of State for Defence

Get updates to this list email feed

Copy and paste this URL in to your feed reader

  1. F-35 Lightning II jet to make maiden British flight

    • 16 April 2014
    • News story
  2. Defence Secretary visits new veterans' housing development in Scotland

    • 16 April 2014
    • News story
  3. Defence Secretary visits Scotland

    • 15 April 2014
    • News story
  4. Why defence matters in the Scottish independence debate

    • 15 April 2014
    • Speech
  5. The UK-US defence partnership

    • 27 March 2014
    • News story
  6. British forces achieve base closure milestone in Afghanistan

    • 16 March 2014
    • News story
  7. £300 million investment for UK submarine industry

    • 13 March 2014
    • News story
  8. First Service Complaints Ombudsman to be created

    • 13 March 2014
    • News story
  9. UK and Australian Foreign and Defence Ministers meeting

    • 11 March 2014
    • Press release
  10. MOD announces preferred private sector bidder to join DIO

    • 10 March 2014
    • News story

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.