About us

We ensure the smooth working of the devolution settlement in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Office supports the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in promoting the best interests of Northern Ireland within a stronger United Kingdom. It ensures Northern Ireland interests are fully and effectively represented at Westminster and the heart of Government, and the Government’s responsibilities are fully and effectively represented in Northern Ireland.

Our key purpose is to make politics work by working alongside the Northern Ireland Executive to help improve the effectiveness and delivery of the devolved institutions; to ensure a more secure Northern Ireland; deliver a growing economy including rebalancing the economy; and ensure a stronger society by supporting initiatives designed to build better community relations and a genuinely shared future.

Lead ministers:

The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Fleur Anderson MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Lead official:

Julie Harrison joined the Northern Ireland Office as Permanent Secretary in September 2023. She was previously Permanent Secretary in the Department for Infrastructure.

In 2020 she joined the Northern Ireland Civil Service as a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Justice. She was responsible for a broad range of policy areas including Policing, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Crime, Hate Crime, Paramilitarism and Organised Crime including Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.


Read our outcome delivery plan to find out more about our priority outcomes and strategic enablers and how we will achieve them.

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