Secretary of State for International Development

Secretary of State for International Development
Penny Mordaunt

since 9 November 2017
Department for International Development
Style The Right Honourable
Appointer The Monarch
on advice of the Prime Minister
Formation 18 October 1964
First holder Barbara Castle
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Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for International Development is a British cabinet minister responsible for the Department for International Development and for promoting development overseas, particularly in developing countries. The post was created in 1997 when the Department for International Development was made independent of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

A separate Ministry of Overseas Development was established by Harold Wilson when he came to office in 1964. The first three holders of the office served in the Cabinet, but from 29 August 1967 the office was demoted. Under Edward Heath, the Ministry was re-incorporated into the FCO on 15 October 1970. Wilson again established the Ministry in 1974, but later merged it into the FCO once again: from 10 June 1975 to 8 October 1979 the Foreign Secretary served as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Minister for Overseas Development in the cabinet, while the Minister for Overseas Development held the rank of Minister of State within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Minister of State had day-to-day responsibility. Under the Labour government of the 1970s, Reg Prentice sat in the Cabinet during his term.[1]

The post is currently held by Penny Mordaunt.

List of Ministers and Secretaries of State

Ministers of Overseas Development (1964–1970)

Minister of Overseas Development
Name Term of office Party Prime Minister
Barbara Castle 18 October 1964 23 December 1965 Labour Harold Wilson
Anthony Greenwood 23 December 1965 11 August 1966 Labour
Arthur Bottomley 11 August 1966 29 August 1967 Labour
Reginald Prentice 29 August 1967 6 October 1969 Labour
Judith Hart 6 October 1969 19 June 1970 Labour
Richard Wood 23 June 1970 15 October 1970 Conservative Edward Heath

Ministers for Overseas Development (1970–1997)

Minister for Overseas Development at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Name Term of office Party Prime Minister
Richard Wood 15 October 1970 4 March 1974 Conservative Edward Heath
Judith Hart 7 March 1974 10 June 1975 Labour Harold Wilson
Reginald Prentice 10 June 1975 21 December 1976
James Callaghan
Frank Judd 21 December 1976 21 February 1977 Labour
Judith Hart 21 February 1977 4 May 1979 Labour
Neil Marten 6 May 1979 6 January 1983 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Tim Raison 6 January 1983 10 September 1986 Conservative
Chris Patten 10 September 1986 24 July 1989 Conservative
Lynda Chalker
(Baroness Chalker from 1992)
24 July 1989 2 May 1997 Conservative
John Major

Secretaries of State for International Development (1997–present)

Secretary of State for International Development
Portrait Name Term of office Party Prime Minister
Clare Short 3 May 1997 12 May 2003 Labour Tony Blair
Baroness Amos 12 May 2003 6 October 2003 Labour
Hilary Benn 6 October 2003 27 June 2007 Labour
Douglas Alexander 28 June 2007 11 May 2010 Labour Gordon Brown
Andrew Mitchell 12 May 2010 4 September 2012 Conservative David Cameron
Justine Greening 4 September 2012 14 July 2016 Conservative
David Cameron
Priti Patel 14 July 2016 8 November 2017 Conservative Theresa May
Theresa May
Penny Mordaunt 9 November 2017 Incumbent Conservative


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 October 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2010.
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