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Number 10 Downing Street

The official site of the British Prime Minister's Office

Establishment of a National Security Council

Wednesday 12 May 2010

The Prime Minister is establishing a National Security Council (NSC), which will oversee all aspects of Britain's security.

Sir Peter Ricketts with Foreign Secretary William Hague, Crown copyrightThe Prime Minister has appointed Sir Peter Ricketts (Permanent Undersecretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) as his National Security Adviser, a new role based in the Cabinet Office.

Sir Peter will establish the new National Security Council structures, and coordinate and deliver the Government’s international security agenda.

The Council will coordinate responses to the dangers we face, integrating at the highest level the work of the foreign, defence, home, energy and international development departments, and all other arms of government contributing to national security.

The Council will be chaired by the Prime Minister. Permanent members will be the Deputy Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Home Secretary, the Secretary of State for Defence, the Secretary of State for International Development and the Security Minister.

Other Cabinet Ministers, including the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, will attend as required. The Chief of the Defence Staff, Heads of Intelligence Agencies and other Senior Officials will also attend as required.

The inaugural meeting of the NSC will be chaired by the Prime Minister this afternoon. The Council will discuss the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and review the terrorist threat to the UK.