First Secretary of State: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

First Secretary of State is an occasionally used title within the United Kingdom Government, principally regarded as purely honorific. The title, which implies seniority over all other Secretaries of State, has no specific powers or authority attached to it beyond that of any other Secretary of State. It originated as an alternative to the use of the title Deputy Prime Minister, which was opposed by some for constitutional reasons. The principle of these objections was that the title implied some degree of expectation that there would be a right of succession to the Prime Minister's position in the event of the death or resignation of the incumbent.

Significantly, the role exists only when in use; there can be a lengthy period between successive holders of the title.


Current position

The current First Secretary of State is Lord Mandelson, who was appointed by Gordon Brown on 5 June 2009 in his Cabinet reshuffle.[1]

List of First Secretaries of State

First Secretary Entered office Left office Party Other offices held whilst in post Prime Minister
R. A. Butler CH DL MP 13 July 1962 18 October 1963 Conservative Deputy Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
Vacant 1963–1964 Conservative Alec Douglas-Home
George Brown MP 16 October 1964 11 August 1966 Labour Secretary of State for Economic Affairs
Deputy Party Leader
Harold Wilson
Michael Stewart CH MP 11 August 1966 6 April 1968 Labour Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (until 29 August 1967)
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (16 March 1968 – 17 October 1968)
Barbara Castle MP 6 April 1968 19 June 1970 Labour Secretary of State for Employment
Vacant 1970–1974 Conservative Edward Heath
1974–1976 Labour Harold Wilson
1976–1979 Labour James Callaghan
1979–1990 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
1990–1995 Conservative John Major
Michael Heseltine MP 20 July 1995 2 May 1997 Deputy Prime Minister
Vacant 1997–2001 Labour Tony Blair
John Prescott MP[2] 8 June 2001 27 June 2007 Deputy Prime Minister (from 2 May 1997)
Deputy Party Leader (from 21 July 1994)
Vacant 2007–2009 Labour Gordon Brown
The Lord Mandelson[1] 5 June 2009 Present Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
Lord President of the Council

See also




Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address