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The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, commonly referred to as the Foreign Secretary, is a member of the Her Majesty's Government heading the Foreign and Commonwealth Officemarker and responsible for relations with foreign countries, matters pertaining to the Commonwealth of Nations and the UKmarker's overseas territories and the promotion of British interests abroad.

Position

The position of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs was created in the United Kingdommarker's governmental reorganization of 1782, in which the Northern and Southern Department became the Home and Foreignmarker Offices respectively. The position of Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs came into existence in 1968 with the merger of the functions of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs into a single Department of State. The India Office was a predecessor department of the Foreign Office.

The Foreign Secretary is a member of the Cabinet, and the post is considered one of the Great Offices of State. The Foreign Secretary works out of the Foreign Office in Whitehallmarker. The post's official residences are 1 Carlton Gardensmarker in Londonmarker and Cheveningmarker in Kentmarker. In the 2006 United Kingdom Cabinet reshuffle, Margaret Beckett became the first woman to hold the post.

The current Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs is the Right Honourable David Miliband MP.

Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs, 1782-1801

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Political party Prime Minister
Rt. Hon. Charles James Fox1 27 March 1782 5 July 1782 Whig The Marquess of Rockingham
The Lord Grantham 13 July 1782 2 April 1783 Whig The Earl of Shelburne
Rt. Hon. Charles James Fox 2 April 1783 19 December 1783 Whig
(Fox-North Coalition)
The Duke of Portland
The Earl Temple 19 December 1783 23 December 1783 Tory William Pitt the Younger
The Duke of Leeds1 23 December 1783 May 1791
The Lord Grenville 8 June 1791 20 February 1801


Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs, 1801-1900

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Political party Prime Minister
The Lord Hawkesbury 20 February 1801 14 May 1804 Tory Henry Addington
The Lord Harrowby 14 May 1804 11 January 1805 Tory William Pitt the Younger
The Lord Mulgrave 11 January 1805 7 February 1806
Rt. Hon. Charles James Fox2 7 February 1806 13 September 1806 Whig
(Ministry of All the Talents)
Lord Grenville
Viscount Howick 24 September 1806 25 March 1807
George Canning1 25 March 1807 11 October 1809 Tory The Duke of Portland
The Earl Bathurst 11 October 1809 6 December 1809
The Marquess Wellesley 6 December 1809 4 March 1812 Spencer Perceval
Viscount Castlereagh2 4 March 1812 12 August 1822 Tory Lord Liverpool
George Canning 16 September 1822 30 April 1827
The Earl of Dudley 30 April 1827 2 June 1828 George Canning
The Viscount Goderich
The Earl of Aberdeen 2 June 1828 22 November 1830 Tory The Duke of Wellington
The Viscount Palmerston 22 November 1830 15 November 1834 Whig The Earl Grey
The Viscount Melbourne
The Duke of Wellington 15 November 1834 18 April 1835 Tory The Duke of Wellington
Sir Robert Peel
The Viscount Palmerston 18 April 1835 2 September 1841 Whig The Viscount Melbourne
The Earl of Aberdeen 2 September 1841 6 July 1846 Tory Sir Robert Peel
The Viscount Palmerston 6 July 1846 26 December 1851 Whig Lord John Russell
The Earl Granville 26 December 1851 27 February 1852
The Earl of Malmesbury 27 February 1852 28 December 1852 Tory The Earl of Derby
Lord John Russell 28 December 1852 21 February 1853 Whig
(Coalition
The Earl of Aberdeen
The Earl of Clarendon 21 February 1853 26 February 1858
Whig The Viscount Palmerston
The Earl of Malmesbury 26 February 1858 18 June 1859 Conservative The Earl of Derby
Lord John Russell
(Earl Russell from 1861)
18 June 1859 3 November 1865 Liberal The Viscount Palmerston
The Earl of Clarendon 3 November 1865 6 July 1866 Liberal The Earl Russell
Lord Stanley3 6 July 1866 9 December 1868 Conservative Benjamin Disraeli
The Earl of Clarendon 9 December 1868 6 July 1870 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
The Earl Granville 6 July 1870 21 February 1874
The Earl of Derby 21 February 1874 2 April 1878 Conservative Benjamin Disraeli
The Marquess of Salisbury 2 April 1878 28 April 1880
The Earl Granville 28 April 1880 24 June 1885 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
The Marquess of Salisbury 24 June 1885 6 February 1886 Conservative The Marquess of Salisbury
The Earl of Rosebery 6 February 1886 3 August 1886 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
The Earl of Iddesleigh2 3 August 1886 12 January 1887 Conservative The Marquess of Salisbury
The Marquess of Salisbury 14 January 1887 11 August 1892
The Earl of Rosebery 18 August 1892 11 March 1894 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
The Earl of Kimberley 11 March 1894 21 June 1895 Liberal The Earl of Rosebery
The Marquess of Salisbury 29 June 1895 12 November 1900 Conservative The Marquess of Salisbury


Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs, 1900-1968

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Political party Prime Minister
The Marquess of Lansdowne 12 November 1900 4 December 1905 Liberal Unionist The Marquess of Salisbury
Arthur Balfour
Sir Edward Grey, Bt 10 December 1905 10 December 1916 Liberal Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Herbert Henry Asquith
Arthur Balfour 10 December 1916 23 October 1919 Conservative
(Coalition)
David Lloyd-George
The Earl Curzon of Kedleston
(Marquess Curzon of Kedleston from 1921)
23 October 1919 22 January 1924
Conservative Andrew Bonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Ramsay MacDonald 22 January 1924 3 November 1924 Labour Ramsay MacDonald
Sir Austen Chamberlain 6 November 1924 4 June 1929 Conservative Stanley Baldwin
Arthur Henderson 7 June 1929 24 August 1931 Labour Ramsay MacDonald
The Marquess of Reading 25 August 1931 5 November 1931 Liberal National
(First National Government)
Sir John Simon 5 November 1931 7 June 1935 Liberal National
(Second National Government)
Sir Samuel Hoare, Bt1 7 June 1935 18 December 1935 Conservative
(Third National Government)
Stanley Baldwin
Anthony Eden1 22 December 1935 20 February 1938
Conservative
(Fourth National Government;
War Government)

Neville Chamberlain
The Viscount Halifax 21 February 1938 22 December 1940
Anthony Eden 22 December 1940 26 July 1945 Conservative Winston Churchill
Ernest Bevin 27 July 1945 9 March 1951 Labour Clement Attlee
Herbert Morrison 9 March 1951 26 October 1951
Anthony Eden 28 October 1951 7 April 1955 Conservative Sir Winston Churchill
Harold Macmillan 7 April 1955 20 December 1955 Conservative Sir Anthony Eden
Selwyn Lloyd 20 December 1955 27 July 1960
Conservative Harold Macmillan
The Earl of Home 27 July 1960 20 October 1963
R. A. Butler 20 October 1963 16 October 1964 Conservative Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Patrick Gordon Walker4 16 October 1964 22 January 1965 Labour Harold Wilson
Michael Stewart 22 January 1965 11 August 1966
George Brown1 11 August 1966 16 March 1968
Michael Stewart 16 March 1968 17 October 1968


Secretaries of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 1968-present

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Political party Prime Minister
Michael Stewart 17 October 1968 19 June 1970 Labour Harold Wilson
Sir Alec Douglas-Home 20 June 1970 28 February 1974 Conservative Edward Heath
James Callaghan 5 March 1974 5 April 1976 1 Labour Harold Wilson
Anthony Crosland2 8 April 1976 19 February 1977 Labour James Callaghan
David Owen 22 February 1977 4 May 1979
The Lord Carrington1 5 May 1979 5 April 1982 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Francis Pym 6 April 1982 11 June 1983
Sir Geoffrey Howe 11 June 1983 24 July 1989
John Major 24 July 1989 26 October 1989
Douglas Hurd 26 October 1989 5 July 1995
Conservative John Major
Malcolm Rifkind 5 July 1995 2 May 1997
Robin Cook 2 May 1997 8 June 2001 Labour Tony Blair
Jack Straw 8 June 2001 5 May 2006
Labour Gordon Brown
Margaret Beckett 5 May 2006 28 June 2007
David Miliband 28 June 2007 present


Notes

1Resigned

2Died in office

3Succeeded as Earl of Derby in 1869

4Defeated for election to the House of Commons

See also



External links




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