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. UK Government helps train Park Rangers in Malawi to combat the illegal wildlife trade

    • News story
  2. Defence Secretary confirms UK-US relationship remains unparalleled

    • News story
  3. Defence Secretary at Atlantic Council

    • Speech
  4. Launch of the Combat Air Strategy at the Farnborough Air Show

    • Speech
  5. British Military steps up Women, Peace and Security efforts

    • News story
  6. Update: air strikes against Daesh

    • News story
  7. Defence Secretary strengthens Romania ties and thanks RAF crews

    • Press release
  8. Joint UK-Qatari Typhoon squadron stands up as defence relationship deepens

    • News story
  9. Defence Secretary highlights North East’s military footprint at Gateshead defence firm

    • News story
  10. UK host Australia-UK ministerial talks

    • Press release