Ministerial role

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland


The Secretary of State has overall responsibility for the Northern Ireland Office, advances UK government interests in Northern Ireland and represents Northern Ireland interests in the Cabinet.

The Secretary of State leads on:

  • national security and counter-terrorism
  • implementation of the Stormont House Agreement
  • the economy and inward investment
  • political stability and relations with the Northern Ireland Executive
  • international interest in Northern Ireland, including relations with the Irish government
  • human rights
  • dealing with the past

Current role holder: The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP

James Brokenshire was appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 14 July 2016. He was elected the Conservative MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup in 2010.


James was educated at Davenant Foundation Grammar School, Loughton; Cambridge Centre for Sixth Form Studies; and the University of Exeter, where he studied law.


James was MP for Hornchurch and Rainham from 2005 until the constituency was abolished in 2010. He has campaigned on issues such as crime, asylum and immigration and keeping healthcare facilities at his local hospital. From 2006 to 2010 he was Shadow Minister for Home Affairs.

James was Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Home Office from May 2010 until February 2014. He served as Minister for Immigration and Security at the Home Office from 2014 to 2015 and as Minister for Immigration from May 2015 until July 2016.

Career outside politics

Before entering Parliament he was a partner at a large international law firm where he advised a range of companies, businesses and financial institutions on company law, mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance transactions.

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP

    • 2012 to 2016
  2. The Rt Hon Owen Paterson

    • 2010 to 2012


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  1. Political talks update by Secretary of State

    • Press release
  2. Strabane explosion

    • Press release
  3. Brokenshire pays tribute to Martin McGuinness

    • News story
  4. £120 million funding boost for incoming NI Executive

    • Press release
  5. PM call with Taoiseach Enda Kenny: 5 March 2017

    • Press release
  6. Northern Ireland Assembly election

    • Press release
  7. Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) Speech

    • Speech
  8. Secretary of State visits Brussels

    • Press release
  9. Belfast Partners launch event

    • Speech
  10. Debate on the armed forces and investigation and prosecution of historical cases

    • Statement to Parliament