Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Defence People and Veterans)

Johnny Mercer MP


In July 2019 Johnny was appointed the Minister for Defence People and Veterans in the Ministry of Defence and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs in the Cabinet Office.

Political career

It was Johnny’s displeasure at how his cohort of military personnel and veterans were treated by the governments of the day that drove him into politics, despite having never voted before. In October 2013 Johnny was selected by the Conservative Party to fight his local marginal seat of Plymouth Moor View and won the seat in the 2015 General Election.

Johnny serves on both the House of Commons Defence and Health Select Committees and is also the Chair for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Mental Health. He was reelected in 2017 after only 2 years in the job with an almost five-fold increase in his majority.

Johnny speaks regularly in the House of Commons with a focus on defence, veterans and mental health issues.

Career outside politics

Coming from a military family, Johnny could only resist the allure of the military for so long. He elected for the Army and graduated from Sandhurst in 2002. He served from the tactical to the strategic level throughout a career across the globe, including multiple combat operations.

In 2018 Johnny took on a non-executive role for Crucial Academy, who specialise in training ex-military personnel to gain the necessary skills to be placed in cyber-security employment roles. This was an opportunity for Johnny to practise what he preaches and actually assist veterans transition from the military into civilian employment.

Personal life

Having suffered from OCD since he was a little boy, Johnny regularly refers to his own experiences to help drive through much needed change around the stigma of mental illnesses and the parity of esteem between mental and physical health.

Johnny lives with his wife Felicity who he met at school, and his 2 young children.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Defence People and Veterans)

Responsible for armed forces, veterans and civilian people policy.

Responsibilities include:

  • Civilian and Service personnel policy
  • pay, pensions and compensation
  • veterans (including resettlement, transition, the Office for Veterans Affairs, Defence charities and Ministerial Covenant and Veterans Board)
  • Armed Forces Covenant
  • mental health for armed forces
  • Welfare and Service families (including response to COVID-19 & Estates service)
  • legacy issues and non-operational public inquiries and inquests
  • The People Programme (Flexible Engagement Strategy, Future Accommodation Model and Enterprise Approach)

More about this role

Cabinet Office and Ministry of Defence