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Home Secretary

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Secretary of State
for the Home Department
Royal Arms of the United Kingdom (Crown & Garter).svg
Priti Patel

since 24 July 2019 (2019-07-24)
Home Office
StyleMadam Home Secretary
The Right Honourable
(within the UK and Commonwealth)
Member of
Reports toPrime Minister
NominatorPrime Minister
AppointerThe Crown
(on the advice of the Prime Minister
Term lengthAt HM Pleasure
Formation7 March 1782; 239 years ago (1782-03-07)
First holderEarl of Shelburne

The home secretary, officially the secretary of state for the Home Department, is a secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom, with overall responsibility for all Home Office business.[1] The incumbent is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, fifth in the ministerial ranking.[2]

The position was created in 1782,[3] though its responsibilities have changed many times.[4] Past office holders have included the Prime Ministers Lord North, Robert Peel, the Duke of Wellington, Lord Palmerston, Winston Churchill, James Callaghan, and Theresa May. In 2007, Jacqui Smith became the first female home secretary.[5]

The office holder works alongside the other Home Office ministers. The corresponding shadow minister is the Shadow Home Secretary.

The incumbent is Priti Patel, who was appointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July 2019.[6]


Corresponding to what is generally known as an interior minister in many other countries, the home secretary's remit includes:

Formerly, the home secretary was the minister responsible for prisons and probation in England and Wales; however in 2007 those responsibilities were transferred to the Ministry of Justice under the Lord Chancellor.


The title Secretary of State in the government of England dates back to the early 17th century.[7] The position of Secretary of State for the Home Department was created in the British governmental reorganisation of 1782, in which the responsibilities of the Northern and Southern Departments were reformed into the Foreign Office and Home Office.[7]

In 2007, the new Ministry of Justice took on the criminal justice functions of the Home Office and its agencies.[8]

List of home secretaries

Secretary of State for the Home Department[1]
Portrait Name[note 1]
Term of office Party Ministry Monarch
William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne by JL Mosnier crop.jpg
The Right Honourable
William Petty
2nd Earl of Shelburne

27 March 1782 10 July 1782 Whig Rockingham II George III
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1801-1816).svg

[note 2]
Viscount Sydney by Gilbert Stuart.jpg
The Right Honourable
Thomas Townsend

MP for Whitchurch
10 July 1782 2 April 1783 Whig Shelburne
Nathaniel Dance Lord North cropped cropped.jpg
The Right Honourable
Frederick North
Lord North

MP for Banbury
2 April 1783 19 December 1783 Tory Fox–North [9]
The Right Honourable
George Nugent-Temple-Grenville
3rd Earl Temple

19 December 1783 23 December 1783 Tory Pitt I [10]
Viscount Sydney by Gilbert Stuart.jpg
The Right Honourable
Thomas Townsend
1st Baron Sydney

23 December 1783 5 June 1789 Whig [9]
1st Baron Grenville-cropped.jpg
The Right Honourable
William Grenville
1st Baron Grenville
PCPC (Ire)

MP for Buckinghamshire[note 3]
5 June 1789 8 June 1791 Tory [9]
The Right Honourable
Henry Dundas

MP for Edinburgh
8 June 1791 11 July 1794 Tory [9]
3rd Duke of Portland 1804 cropped.jpg
His Grace
William Cavendish-Bentinck
3rd Duke of Portland

11 July 1794 30 July 1801 Tory [9]
The Right Honourable
Thomas Pelham
4th Baron Pelham of Stanmer

30 July 1801 17 August 1803 Whig [9]
CP Yorke by George Romney.jpg
The Right Honourable
Charles Philip Yorke

MP for Cambridgeshire
17 August 1803 12 May 1804 Tory [9]
Earl jenkinson.jpg
The Right Honourable
Robert Jenkinson
2nd Baron Hawkesbury

12 May 1804 5 February 1806 Tory Pitt II [9]
George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer.jpg
The Right Honourable
George Spencer
2nd Earl Spencer

5 February 1806 25 March 1807 Whig All the Talents
Earl jenkinson.jpg
The Right Honourable
Robert Jenkinson
2nd Earl of Liverpool

25 March 1807 1 November 1809 Tory Portland II [9]
No image.svg
The Right Honourable
Richard Ryder

MP for Tiverton
1 November 1809 8 June 1812 Tory Perceval [9]
Henry Addington by Beechey.jpg
The Right Honourable
Henry Addington
1st Viscount Sidmouth

11 June 1812 17 January 1822 Tory Liverpool [9]
George IV
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1816-1837).svg

Robert Peel by RR Scanlan detail.jpg
The Right Honourable
Robert Peel

MP for Oxford University
17 January 1822 10 April 1827 Tory [9]
No image.svg
The Right Honourable
William Sturges Bourne

MP for Ashburton
30 April 1827 16 July 1827 Tory Canning
Lord Henry Petty.jpg
The Most Honourable
Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice
3rd Marquess of Lansdowne

16 July 1827 22 January 1828 Whig [9]
Robert Peel by RR Scanlan detail.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir Robert Peel

MP for 3 constituencies respectively
26 January 1828 22 November 1830 Tory Wellington–Peel [9]
William IV
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1816-1837).svg

William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, painted by John Partridge.jpg
The Right Honourable
William Lamb
2nd Viscount Melbourne

22 November 1830 16 July 1834 Whig Grey [9]
The Right Honourable
John Ponsonby
1st Baron Duncannon

19 July 1834 15 November 1834 Whig Melbourne I [9]
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington by John Jackson cropped.jpg
Field MarshalHis Grace
Arthur Wellesley
1st Duke of Wellington

15 November 1834 15 December 1834 Tory Wellington Caretaker [9]
The Right Honourable
Henry Goulburn

MP for Cambridge University
15 December 1834 18 April 1835 Conservative Peel I [9]
Lord john russell.jpg
The Right Honourable
Lord John Russell

MP for Stroud
18 April 1835 30 August 1839 Whig Melbourne II [10]
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg

Constantine Henry Phipps, 1st Marquess of Normanby by John Jackson.jpg
The Most Honourable
Constantine Phipps
1st Marquess of Normanby

30 August 1839 30 August 1841 Whig [10]
Sir James Graham 2nd Bart First Lord Admiralty.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir James Graham

MP for Dorchester
6 September 1841 30 June 1846 Conservative Peel II [10]
Sir George Grey, 2nd Bt.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir George Grey

8 July 1846 23 February 1852 Whig Russell I [10]
Spencer Horatio Walpole.JPG
The Right Honourable
Spencer Horatio Walpole

MP for Midhurst
27 February 1852 19 December 1852 Conservative Who? Who? [10]
Lord Palmerston 1855.jpg
The Right Honourable
Henry John Temple
3rd Viscount Palmerston

MP for Tiverton
28 December 1852 6 February 1855 Whig Aberdeen
Sir George Grey, 2nd Bt.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir George Grey

MP for Morpeth
8 February 1855 26 February 1858 Whig Palmerston I [10]
Spencer Horatio Walpole.JPG
The Right Honourable
Spencer Horatio Walpole

MP for Cambridge University
26 February 1858 3 March 1859 Conservative Derby–Disraeli II [10]
Thomas Henry Sutton Sotheron Estcourt Grant.jpg
The Right Honourable
Thomas Henry Sutton Sotheron-Estcourt

MP for North Wiltshire
3 March 1859 18 June 1859 Conservative [10]
Sir George Cornewall Lewis, 2nd Bt.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir George Cornewall Lewis

MP for Radnor
18 June 1859 25 July 1861 Liberal Palmerston II [10]
Sir George Grey, 2nd Bt.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir George Grey

MP for Morpeth
25 July 1861 28 June 1866 Liberal [10]
Russell II
Spencer Horatio Walpole.JPG
The Right Honourable
Spencer Horatio Walpole

MP for Cambridge University
6 July 1866 17 May 1867 Conservative Derby–Disraeli III [10]
1st Earl of Cranbrook.jpg
The Right Honourable
Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy

MP for Oxford University
17 May 1867 3 December 1868 Conservative [10]
Henry Bruce, 1st Baron Aberdare NPG.jpg
The Right Honourable
Henry Bruce

9 December 1868 9 August 1873 Liberal Gladstone I [10]
Robert Lowe, 1st Viscount Sherbrooke by George Frederic Watts.jpg
The Right Honourable
Robert Lowe

MP for London University
9 August 1873 20 February 1874 Liberal [10]
Portrait of Richard Assheton Cross, 1st Viscount Cross.jpg
The Right Honourable
R. A. Cross

MP for South West Lancashire
21 February 1874 23 April 1880 Conservative Disraeli II [10]
Sir William Harcourt.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir William Harcourt

MP for Derby
28 April 1880 23 June 1885 Liberal Gladstone II [10]
Portrait of Richard Assheton Cross, 1st Viscount Cross.jpg
The Right Honourable
R. A. Cross

MP for Newton
24 June 1885 1 February 1886 Conservative Salisbury I [10]
Hugh Childers, Lock & Whitfield woodburytype, 1876-83 crop.jpg
The Right Honourable
Hugh Childers

MP for Edinburgh South
6 February 1886 25 July 1886 Liberal Gladstone III [10]
The Right Honourable
Henry Matthews

MP for Birmingham East
3 August 1886 15 August 1892 Conservative Salisbury II [10]
Portrait of Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith.jpg
The Right Honourable
H. H. Asquith

MP for East Fife
18 August 1892 25 June 1895 Liberal Gladstone IV [10]
Matthew White Ridley sketch.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir Matthew White Ridley

MP for Blackpool
29 June 1895 12 November 1900 Conservative Salisbury
(III & IV)

Charles Thomson Ritchie headshot.jpg
The Right Honourable
Charles Ritchie

MP for Croydon
12 November 1900 11 August 1902 Conservative [10]
Edward VII
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg

Aretas Akers-Douglas, 1st Viscount Chilston.png
The Right Honourable
Aretas Akers-Douglas

MP for St Augustine's
11 August 1902 5 December 1905 Conservative [10]
Viscount Gladstone.jpg
The Right Honourable
Herbert Gladstone

MP for Leeds West
11 December 1905 19 February 1910 Liberal Campbell-Bannerman [10]
Sir Winston Churchill - 19086236948.jpg
The Right Honourable
Winston Churchill

MP for Dundee
19 February 1910 24 October 1911 Liberal [10]
George V
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg

Reginald McKenna photo.jpg
The Right Honourable
Reginald McKenna

MP for North Monmouthshire
24 October 1911 27 May 1915 Liberal [10]
Viscount Simon.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir John Simon

MP for Walthamstow
27 May 1915 12 January 1916 Liberal Asquith Coalition
(Lib.Con.–et al.)
Herbert Samuel.jpg
The Right Honourable
Herbert Samuel

MP for Cleveland
12 January 1916 7 December 1916 Liberal [10]
George Cave, 1st Viscount Cave in 1915.jpg
The Right Honourable
George Cave
1st Viscount Cave

MP for Kingston[note 6]
11 December 1916 14 January 1919 Conservative Lloyd George
(I & II)
Edward Shortt.jpg
The Right Honourable
Edward Shortt

MP for Newcastle upon Tyne West
14 January 1919 23 October 1922 Liberal [10]
William Bridgeman, 1st Viscount Bridgeman.png
The Right Honourable
William Bridgeman

MP for Oswestry
25 October 1922 22 January 1924 Conservative Law [10]
Baldwin I
1910 Arthur Henderson.jpg
The Right Honourable
Arthur Henderson

MP for Burnley[note 7]
23 January 1924 4 November 1924 Labour MacDonald I [10]
1st Viscount Brentford 1923.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir William Joynson-Hicks

MP for Twickenham
7 November 1924 5 June 1929 Conservative Baldwin II [10]
J.R. Clynes LCCN2014717260 (cropped).jpg
The Right Honourable
John Robert Clynes

MP for Manchester Platting
8 June 1929 26 August 1931 Labour MacDonald II [10]
Herbert Samuel.jpg
The Right Honourable
Herbert Samuel

MP for Darwen
26 August 1931 1 October 1932 Liberal National I
(N.Lab.Con.–et al.)
National II
Sir John Gilmour.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir John Gilmour

MP for Glasgow Pollok
1 October 1932 7 June 1935 Unionist [10]
Viscount Simon.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir John Simon

MP for Spen Valley
7 June 1935 28 May 1937 Liberal National National III
(Con.N.Lab.–et al.)
Edward VIII
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg

George VI
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg

Sir Samuel Hoare GGBain.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir Samuel Hoare

MP for Chelsea
28 May 1937 3 September 1939 Conservative National IV [10]
John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley 1947.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir John Anderson

MP for Combined Scottish Universities
4 September 1939 4 October 1940 Independent
Chamberlain War [10]
Churchill War
(All parties)
Herbert Morrison 1947.jpg
The Right Honourable
Herbert Morrison

MP for Hackney South
4 October 1940 23 May 1945 Labour [10]
The Right Honourable
Sir Donald Somervell

MP for Crewe
25 May 1945 26 July 1945 Conservative Churchill Caretaker
James Chuter Ede (minister van Binnenlandse Zaken (Home Secretary)), Bestanddeelnr 900-7223.jpg
The Right Honourable
James Chuter Ede

MP for South Shields
3 August 1945 26 October 1951 Labour Attlee
(I & II)
David Maxwell Fyfe, Nuremberg, 1946 (Art. IWM ART LD 5863).jpg
The Right Honourable
Sir David Maxwell Fyfe

MP for Liverpool West Derby
27 October 1951 19 October 1954 Conservative Churchill III [10]
Elizabeth II
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg

Gwilym Lloyd George 1922.jpg
The Right Honourable
Gwilym Lloyd George

MP for Newcastle upon Tyne North
19 October 1954 14 January 1957 National Liberal
The Right Honourable
Richard Austen Butler

MP for Saffron Walden
14 January 1957 13 July 1962 Conservative Macmillan
(I & II)
The Right Honourable
Henry Brooke

MP for Hampstead
14 July 1962 16 October 1964 Conservative [10]
No image.svg
The Right Honourable
Sir Frank Soskice

MP for Newport
18 October 1964 23 December 1965 Labour Wilson
(I & II)
Roy Jenkins 1977b.jpg
The Right Honourable
Roy Jenkins

MP for Birmingham Stechford
23 December 1965 30 November 1967 Labour [10]
Persconferentie na afloop Overleg van de 9 , Den Haag Callaghan (oa met Enge, Bestanddeelnr 928-9157 (crop).jpg
The Right Honourable
James Callaghan

MP for Cardiff South East
30 November 1967 19 June 1970 Labour [10]
The Right Honourable
Reginald Maudling

MP for Barnet
20 June 1970 18 July 1972 Conservative Heath [10]
The Right Honourable
Robert Carr

MP for Carshalton
18 July 1972 4 March 1974 Conservative [10]
Roy Jenkins 1977b.jpg
The Right Honourable
Roy Jenkins

MP for Birmingham Stechford
5 March 1974 10 September 1976 Labour Wilson
(III & IV)
Merlyn Rees appearing on "After Dark", 16 July 1988.jpg
The Right Honourable
Merlyn Rees

MP for Leeds South
10 September 1976 4 May 1979 Labour [10]
The Right Honourable
William Whitelaw

MP for Penrith and The Border
4 May 1979 11 June 1983 Conservative Thatcher I [10]
Leon Brittan (1996) 02.jpg
The Right Honourable
Leon Brittan

MP for Richmond (Yorks)
11 June 1983 2 September 1985 Conservative Thatcher II [10]
Lord Hurd (cropped).jpg
The Right Honourable
Douglas Hurd

MP for Witney
(born 1930)
2 September 1985 26 October 1989 Conservative [10]
Thatcher III
The Right Honourable
David Waddington

MP for Ribble Valley
26 October 1989 28 November 1990 Conservative [10]
Official portrait of Lord Baker of Dorking 2020 crop 2.jpg
The Right Honourable
Kenneth Baker

MP for Mole Valley
(born 1934)
28 November 1990 10 April 1992 Conservative Major I [10]
Official portrait of Mr Kenneth Clarke crop 2.jpg
The Right Honourable
Kenneth Clarke

MP for Rushcliffe
(born 1940)
10 April 1992 27 May 1993 Conservative Major II [10]
Official portrait of Lord Howard of Lympne crop 2.jpg
The Right Honourable
Michael Howard

MP for Folkestone and Hythe
(born 1941)
27 May 1993 2 May 1997 Conservative [10]
Jack Straw 2.jpg
The Right Honourable
Jack Straw

MP for Blackburn
(born 1946)
2 May 1997 8 June 2001 Labour Blair I [10]
Official portrait of Lord Blunkett crop 2.jpg
The Right Honourable
David Blunkett

MP for Sheffield Brightside
(born 1947)
8 June 2001 15 December 2004 Labour Blair II [10]
Charles Clarke (cropped).jpg
The Right Honourable
Charles Clarke

MP for Norwich South
(born 1950)
15 December 2004 5 May 2006 Labour [10]
Blair III
Official portrait of Lord Reid of Cardowan, 2020.jpg
The Right Honourable
John Reid

MP for Airdrie and Shotts
(born 1947)
5 May 2006 27 June 2007 Labour [11]
Jacqui Smith, September 2009 cropped.jpg
The Right Honourable
Jacqui Smith

MP for Redditch
(born 1962)
28 June 2007 5 June 2009 Labour Brown [12]
Alan Johnson MP.jpg
The Right Honourable
Alan Johnson

MP for Hull West and Hessle
(born 1950)
5 June 2009 11 May 2010 Labour [13]
Theresa May 2015 (cropped).jpg
The Right Honourable
Theresa May

MP for Maidenhead
(born 1956)
12 May 2010 13 July 2016 Conservative Cameron–Clegg
May's tenure as Home Secretary Cameron II
Official portrait of Amber Rudd crop 2.jpg
The Right Honourable
Amber Rudd

MP for Hastings and Rye
(born 1963)
13 July 2016 29 April 2018 Conservative May I [15]
May II
Official portrait of Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP crop 2.jpg
The Right Honourable
Sajid Javid

MP for Bromsgrove
(born 1969)
30 April 2018 24 July 2019 Conservative [16]
Official portrait of Rt Hon Priti Patel MP crop 2.jpg
The Right Honourable
Priti Patel

MP for Witham
(born 1972)
24 July 2019 Incumbent Conservative Johnson I [6]
Johnson II

See also


  1. ^ Including honorifics and constituencies for elected MPs.
  2. ^ The Prince of Wales served as Prince Regent from 5 February 1811.
  3. ^ Elevated to the Peerage of Great Britain in 1790
  4. ^ Elected to a new constituency in the 1847 general election.
  5. ^ Lost seat in the 1868 general election and elected to a new constituency in the Renfrewshire by-election.
  6. ^ Elevated to the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1918.
  7. ^ Elected on 28 February 1924 in the Burnley by-election.



  1. ^ a b c "Secretary of State for the Home Department". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Her Majesty's Government: The Cabinet". Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  3. ^ "The Cabinet Papers: Senior Cabinet posts". The National Archives. Retrieved 3 July 2021. The post of Home Secretary was created in 1782 with the formation of the Home Office
  4. ^ "Records created or inherited by the Home Office, Ministry of Home Security, and related bodies". The National Archives. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  5. ^ "First female boss for Home Office". BBC News. 28 June 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2021. Jacqui Smith has become Britain's first female home secretary
  6. ^ a b "Priti Patel appointed UK interior minister: statement". Reuters. 24 July 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  7. ^ a b Sainty, J. C. (1973). "Introduction". Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 2 - Officials of the Secretaries of State 1660-1782. British History Online. University of London. pp. 1–21. At the Restoration [in 1660] the practice of appointing two Secretaries of State, which was well established before the Civil War, was resumed. Apart from the modifications which were made necessary by the occasional existence of a third secretaryship, the organisation of the secretariat underwent no fundamental change from that time until the reforms of 1782 which resulted in the emergence of the Home and Foreign departments. ... English domestic affairs remained the responsibility of both Secretaries throughout the period. In the field of foreign affairs there was a division into a Northern and a Southern Department, each of which was the responsibility of one Secretary. The distinction between the two departments emerged only gradually. It was not until after 1689 that their names passed into general currency. Nevertheless the division of foreign business itself can, in its broad outlines, be detected in the early years of the reign of Charles II.
  8. ^ House of Commons Constitutional Affairs Committee (17 July 2007). "The creation of the Ministry of Justice" (PDF). p. 3. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Gibson 2008.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm "Home Secretary". Hansard. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Clarke is fired in Cabinet purge". BBC News. 5 May 2006. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  12. ^ "First female boss for Home Office". BBC News. 28 June 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Hutton quits in cabinet reshuffle". BBC News. 5 June 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  14. ^ "Cameron coalition: Theresa May made home secretary". BBC News. 12 May 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Theresa May shakes up government with new-look cabinet". BBC News. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Sajid Javid announced as new Home Secretary after Amber Rudd's resignation". Sky News. Retrieved 30 April 2018.


External links

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