Head of UK Governance Group and Second Permanent Secretary

Philip Rycroft


Philip Rycroft was appointed as Second Permanent Secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union in April 2017.

He was appointed Second Permanent Secretary, Head of UK Governance Group in the Cabinet Office in June 2015, with responsibility for constitutional and devolution issues, and retains this role.

From 2012 to 2015 he was the Director General in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, supporting the Deputy Prime Minister across the full range of his policy interests. Prior to that, he was Corporate Affairs Director at Hutchison Whampoa (Europe) Ltd.

Previous roles have mainly been in government, including:

  • Director General, Innovation and Enterprise and Chief Executive of the Better Regulation Executive in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Director General, Education in the Scottish Government
  • Head of the Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department in the Scottish Executive.

Philip also spent time on secondment from government with Scottish & Newcastle plc and in the Cabinet of Vice-President Leon Brittan in the European Commission.

Head of UK Governance Group

The UK Governance Group was established in June 2015 to lead the UK government’s work on constitutional and devolution issues. It brings together under one command the Cabinet Office Constitution Group, the Scotland Office, the Office of the Advocate General for Scotland and the Wales Office.

The Group will ensure that the civil service has an improved capability to support ministers in the vital challenge of sustaining the United Kingdom and the constitutional settlement.

Second Permanent Secretary

The Second Permanent Secretary will have responsibility for managing the department’s overall policy and legislative programme.

Previous roles in government

  1. Director General, Deputy Prime Minister’s Office

    • 2012 to 2015