Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

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Secretary of State
for Work and Pensions
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Official portrait of Dr Thérèse Coffey.jpg
Incumbent
Thérèse Coffey

since 8 September 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
StyleWork and Pensions Secretary
(informal)
The Right Honourable
(UK and the Commonwealth)
StatusSecretary of state
Minister of the Crown
Member ofCabinet
Privy Council
Reports toThe Prime Minister
SeatWestminster
AppointerThe Crown
on advice of the Prime Minister
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's Pleasure
Formation10 December 1916
First holderGeorge Barnes
DeputyMinister of State for Employment
Websitewww.dwp.gov.uk

The secretary of state for work and pensions, also referred to as the work and pensions secretary, is a secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom, with overall responsibility for the business of the Department for Work and Pensions.[1] The incumbent is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, 13th in the ministerial ranking.[2]

The office holder works alongside the other Work and Pensions ministers. The corresponding shadow minister is the shadow secretary of state for work and pensions, and there is also currently a Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights and Protections and a Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work. The performance of the Secretary of State is also scrutinised by the Work and Pensions Select Committee.

The incumbent is Thérèse Coffey, following her appointment by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in September 2019.

Responsibilities[edit]

Corresponding to what is generally known as a labour minister in many other countries, the work and pensions secretary's remit includes:

History[edit]

It was created on 8 June 2001 by the merger of the Employment division of the Department for Education and Employment and the Department of Social Security.[4]

The Ministry of Pensions was created in 1916 to handle the payment of war pensions to former members of the Armed Forces and their dependants. In 1944 a separate Ministry of National Insurance (titled the Ministry of Social Insurance until 17 November 1944) was formed; the two merged in 1953 as the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance.[4] In 1966 the Ministry was renamed the Ministry of Social Security, but this was short-lived, as the Ministry merged with the Ministry of Health in 1968 to form the Department of Health and Social Security. Confusingly, the Secretary of State responsible for this Department was titled the Secretary of State for Social Services. The Department was de-merged in 1988, creating the separate Department of Health and Department of Social Security.

Ministers and secretaries of state[edit]

Colour key (for political parties):
  Labour   Conservative   Liberal   National Labour   National Independent

Minister of Pensions (1916–53)[edit]

Name Term of office Length of term Political party Prime Minister
George Nicoll Barnes 10 December 1916 17 August 1917 8 months and 7 days Labour David Lloyd George
(Coalition)
John Hodge 17 August 1917 10 January 1919 1 year, 4 months and 24 days Labour
Sir Laming Worthington-Evans, Bt 10 January 1919 2 April 1920 1 year, 2 months and 23 days Conservative
Ian Macpherson 2 April 1920 19 October 1922 2 years, 6 months and 17 days Liberal
George Tryon 31 October 1922 22 January 1924 1 year, 2 months and 22 days Conservative Bonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Frederick Roberts 23 January 1924 3 November 1924 9 months and 11 days Labour Ramsay MacDonald
George Tryon 11 November 1924 4 June 1929 4 years, 6 months and 24 days Conservative Stanley Baldwin
Frederick Roberts 7 June 1929 24 August 1931 2 years, 2 months and 17 days Labour Ramsay MacDonald
George Tryon 3 September 1931 18 June 1935 3 years, 9 months and 15 days Conservative Ramsay MacDonald
(1st & 2nd National Min.)
Robert Hudson 18 June 1935 30 July 1936 1 year, 1 month and 12 days Conservative Stanley Baldwin
(3rd National Min.)
Herwald Ramsbotham 30 July 1936 7 June 1939 2 years, 10 months and 8 days Conservative
Neville Chamberlain
(4th Nat.Min.; War Coalition)
Sir Walter Womersley 7 June 1939 26 July 1945 6 years, 1 month and 19 days Conservative
Winston Churchill
(War Coalition; Caretaker Min.)
Wilfred Paling 3 August 1945 17 April 1947 1 year, 8 months and 14 days Labour Clement Attlee
John Burns Hynd 17 April 1947 7 October 1947 5 months and 20 days Labour
George Buchanan 7 October 1947 2 July 1948 8 months and 25 days Labour
Hilary Marquand 2 July 1948 17 January 1951 2 years, 6 months and 15 days Labour
George Isaacs 17 January 1951 26 October 1951 9 months and 9 days Labour
Derick Heathcoat-Amory 5 November 1951 3 September 1953 1 year, 9 months and 29 days Conservative Sir Winston Churchill

Minister of Social Insurance/National Insurance (1944–53)[edit]

Name Term of office Length of term Political party Prime Minister
Sir William Jowitt 8 October 1944 23 May 1945 7 months and 15 days Labour Winston Churchill
(War Coalition)
Leslie Hore-Belisha 25 May 1945 26 July 1945 2 months and 1 day National Independent Winston Churchill
(Caretaker Min.)
Jim Griffiths 4 August 1945 28 February 1950 4 years, 6 months and 24 days Labour Clement Attlee
Edith Summerskill 28 February 1950 26 October 1951 1 year, 7 months and 28 days Labour
Osbert Peake 31 October 1951 3 September 1953 1 year, 10 months and 3 days
(Cont. below)
Conservative Sir Winston Churchill

Posts of Minister of Pensions and Minister of National Insurance merged in 1953.

Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (1953–66)[edit]

Name Term of office Length of term Political party Prime Minister
Osbert Peake 3 September 1953 20 December 1955 2 years, 3 months and 17 days
(Cont. from above)
Conservative Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Anthony Eden
John Boyd-Carpenter 20 December 1955 16 July 1962 6 years, 6 months and 26 days Conservative
Harold Macmillan
Niall Macpherson 16 July 1962 21 October 1963 1 year, 3 months and 5 days Conservative
Richard Wood 21 October 1963 16 October 1964 11 months and 25 days Conservative Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Margaret Herbison 18 October 1964 6 August 1966 1 year, 9 months and 19 days
(Cont. below)
Labour Harold Wilson

Minister of Social Security (1966–68)[edit]

Name Term of office Length of term Political party Prime Minister
Margaret Herbison 6 August 1966 26 July 1967 11 months and 20 days
(Cont. from above)
Labour Harold Wilson
Judith Hart 26 July 1967 1 November 1968 1 year, 3 months and 6 days Labour

Secretary of State for Health and Social Services (1968–88)[edit]

Name Term of office Length of term Political party Prime Minister
Richard Crossman 1 November 1968 19 June 1970 1 year, 7 months and 18 days Labour Harold Wilson
Sir Keith Joseph 20 June 1970 4 March 1974 3 years, 8 months and 12 days Conservative Edward Heath
Barbara Castle 5 March 1974 8 April 1976 2 years, 1 month and 3 days Labour Harold Wilson
David Ennals 8 April 1976 4 May 1979 3 years and 26 days Labour James Callaghan
Patrick Jenkin[5] 5 May 1979 13 September 1981 2 years, 4 months and 8 days Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Norman Fowler[6] 14 September 1981 13 June 1987 5 years, 8 months and 30 days Conservative
John Moore[7] 13 June 1987 24 July 1988 1 year, 1 month and 11 days
(Cont. below)
Conservative
Post split into the Secretary of State for Social Security and the Secretary of State for Health in 1988.

Secretary of State for Social Security (1988–2001)[edit]

Name Portrait Term of office Length of term Political party Prime Minister
John Moore[7] Mr John Moore M.P. addressing the Annual LSE Society Dinner, 5th June, 1985.jpg 25 July 1988 22 July 1989 11 months and 27 days
(Cont. from above)
Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Tony Newton[8] Tony Newton 1995.png 23 July 1989 9 April 1992 2 years, 8 months and 17 days Conservative
John Major
Peter Lilley[9] Official portrait of Lord Lilley crop 2.jpg 10 April 1992 1 May 1997 5 years and 21 days Conservative
Harriet Harman[10] Official portrait of Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP crop 2.jpg 1 May 1997 27 July 1998 1 year, 2 months and 26 days Labour Tony Blair
Alistair Darling[11] AlistairDarlingABr cropped.jpg 27 July 1998 8 June 2001 2 years, 10 months and 12 days
(Cont. below)
Labour

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2001–present)[edit]

Name Portrait Term of office Length of term Political party Prime Minister
Alistair Darling[11] AlistairDarlingABr cropped.jpg 8 June 2001 29 May 2002 11 months and 21 days
(Cont. from above)
Labour Tony Blair
Andrew Smith[12] Andrew Smith MP 20050127.jpg 29 May 2002 7 September 2004 2 years, 3 months and 9 days Labour
Alan Johnson[13] Alan Johnson MP.jpg 9 September 2004 6 May 2005 7 months and 27 days Labour
David Blunkett[14] Official portrait of Lord Blunkett crop 2.jpg 6 May 2005 2 November 2005 1 year, 1 month and 25 days Labour
John Hutton[15] Msc 2009-Sunday, 11.00 - 12.30 Uhr-Zwez 005 Hutton detail.jpg 2 November 2005 28 June 2007 1 year, 7 months and 26 days Labour
Peter Hain[16] Official portrait of Lord Hain crop 2, 2019.jpg 28 June 2007 24 January 2008 6 months and 27 days Labour Gordon Brown
James Purnell[17]

MP for Stalybridge and Hyde

James Purnell Ministerial portrait.jpg 24 January 2008 5 June 2009 1 year, 4 months and 12 days Labour
Yvette Cooper[18]

MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford

Official portrait of Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP crop 2.jpg 6 June 2009 6 May 2010 11 months Labour
Iain Duncan Smith[19]

MP for Chingford and Woodford Green

Official portrait of Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP crop 2.jpg 12 May 2010 19 March 2016 5 years, 10 months and 7 days Conservative David Cameron
(Coalition)
Duncan Smith's tenure David Cameron
(II)
Stephen Crabb[20]

MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire

Official portrait of Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP crop 2.jpg 19 March 2016 14 July 2016 3 months and 25 days Conservative
Damian Green[21]

MP for Ashford

Official portrait of Rt Hon Damian Green MP crop 2.jpg 14 July 2016 11 June 2017 10 months and 28 days Conservative Theresa May
(I)
David Gauke[22]

MP for South West Hertfordshire

Official portrait of Mr David Gauke crop 2.jpg 11 June 2017 8 January 2018 6 months and 28 days Conservative Theresa May
(II)
Esther McVey[23]

MP for Tatton

Official portrait of Esther McVey crop 2.jpg 8 January 2018 15 November 2018 10 months and 7 days Conservative
Amber Rudd[24]

MP for Hastings and Rye

Official portrait of Amber Rudd crop 2.jpg 16 November 2018 7 September 2019 9 months and 22 days Conservative
Boris Johnson

(I)

Thérèse Coffey[25]

MP for Coastal Suffolk

Official portrait of Dr Thérèse Coffey crop 2.jpg 8 September 2019 Incumbent 2 years, 2 months and 28 days* Conservative
Boris Johnson

(II)

* Incumbent's length of term last updated: 6 December 2021.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Secretary of State for Work and Pensions". gov.uk. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Her Majesty's Government: The Cabinet". parliament.uk. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Secretary of State for Work and Pensions - GOV.UK".
  4. ^ a b Department for Work and Pensions. "A century of support: Department for Work and Pensions turns 100 years old". Department for Work and Pensions. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Lord Jenkin of Roding". UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Lord Fowler". UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Lord Moore of Lower Marsh". UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  8. ^ "Lord Newton of Braintree". UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  9. ^ "Lord Lilley". UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  10. ^ "Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Lord Darling of Roulanish". UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  12. ^ "Rt Hon Andrew Smith". UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  13. ^ "Rt Hon Alan Johnson". UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  14. ^ "Lord Blunkett". UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  15. ^ "Lord Hutton of Furness". UK Parliament. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  16. ^ "Lord Hain". UK Parliament. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  17. ^ "James Purnell". UK Parliament. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  18. ^ "Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  19. ^ "Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  20. ^ "Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  21. ^ "Rt Hon Damian Green MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  22. ^ "Rt Hon David Gauke". UK Parliament. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  23. ^ "Rt Hon Esther McVey MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  24. ^ "Rt Hon Amber Rudd". UK Parliament. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  25. ^ "Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 31 August 2021.