Secretary of State for Defence
Rt Hon Des Browne MP
Rt Hon Des Browne MP
Rt Hon Des Browne MP was appointed Secretary of State for Defence on the 5th of May 2006.
He has previously been appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Minister of State for Nationality, Immigration and Asylum at the Home Office, Minister of State for Work at the Department for Work and Pensions and, prior to that, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office.
Mr Browne has been MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun since 1997 and was previously Parliamentary Private Secretary to the late Donald Dewar MP 1998-1999.
He is a former member of Select Committees on Northern Ireland 1997-1998 and Public Administration 1999 and the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights 2001.
Mr Browne also tabled the Register of Drug Trafficking Offenders Bill, a private Member's Bill to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) to establish a register of trafficking offenders.
Mr Browne was born on 22 March 1952 and studied at Glasgow University where he was awarded an LLB. He is married and has two sons. Before entering Parliament he was a lawyer, he was admitted as a solicitor in 1976 and was subsequently called to the Scottish Bar in 1993.
Rt Hon Des Browne MP was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland on 28th June 2007.
The Secretary of State for Defence is the Cabinet Minister charged with making and executing Defence policy, and with providing the means by which it is executed, the Armed Forces. He is Chairman of the Defence Council and of its three Boards, (the Admiralty Board, the Army Board and the Air Force Board).
Although responsible ultimately for all elements of Defence, the Secretary of State is supported by three subordinate Ministers: the Minister of State for Defence Procurement, the Minister of State for the Armed Forces and the Under-Secretary of State for Defence. The Secretary of State assigns responsibility to them for specific aspects of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence's business. However, the following are specifically his responsibility:
- Policy, including nuclear issues and European defence
- Finance and efficiency
- Oversight of major acquisition decisions and defence industrial issues
- Media and communications