Ministerial role

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions


The Secretary of State has overall responsibility for the business of the department. They have direct responsibility for departmental expenditure and departmental management and are responsible for the department’s overall response to COVID-19.

DWP is responsible for the administration of the State Pension and working age benefits system, providing support to:

  • people of working age
  • employers
  • pensioners
  • families and children
  • disabled people

Current role holder

The Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey MP

Thérèse Coffey was appointed Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions on 8 September 2019.

Thérèse was previously Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs between 25 July 2019 and 8 September 2019.

She was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 17 July 2016 to 25 July 2019. She was elected the Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal in May 2010.


Thérèse graduated from University College London (UCL) with a PhD in chemistry.

Political Career

Thérèse Coffey served as Deputy Leader of the House of Commons from May 2015 until July 2016.

Thérèse served on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee until she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Fallon, Minister for Business and Energy.

Thérèse has campaigned on stopping the A14 toll, improving NHS experience for patients and better broadband.

Career outside politics

Thérèse worked for the international company Mars. When Thérèse qualified as a chartered management accountant, she became Finance Director for a UK subsidiary of Mars. She has also worked at the BBC.

Personal life

Thérèse enjoys watching football, gardening and music, especially Muse. She is a CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) member.

More about this person

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Amber Rudd

    2018 to 2019

  2. The Rt Hon Esther McVey MP

    2018 to 2018

  3. The Rt Hon David Gauke

    2017 to 2018

  4. The Rt Hon Damian Green MP

    2016 to 2017

  5. The Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP

    2016 to 2016

  6. The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP

    2010 to 2016