United Kingdom
Minister without Portfolio
Royal Arms as used by Her Majesty's Government
Incumbent
Oliver Dowden

since 15 September 2021
Cabinet Office
StyleThe Right Honourable
Reports toThe Prime Minister
NominatorThe Prime Minister
AppointerThe British Monarch
on the advice of the Prime Minister
Term lengthNo fixed term
WebsiteGOV.UK

In the United Kingdom, the Minister without portfolio is often a cabinet position, and is sometimes used to enable people such as the Chairman of the Conservative Party or the Chair of the Labour Party to attend cabinet meetings (if so, they hold the title of "Party chairman"). The sinecure positions of Lord Privy Seal and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster which have few responsibilities and have a higher rank in the Order of Precedence than Minister without Portfolio can also be used to similar effect.

List of office holders

18th century

19th century

Name Portrait Concurrent office(s) Tenure Political party Prime Minister
William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland
January 1805 – February 1806 Whig William Pitt the Younger
William Fitzwilliam, 4th Earl Fitzwilliam
October 1806 – March 1807 William Grenville
(Ministry of All the Talents)
William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland
4 – 30 October 1809 Tory Spencer Perceval
Dudley Ryder, 1st Earl of Harrowby
November 1809 – June 1812 Tory (Pittite)
John Pratt, 2nd Earl Camden (created 1st Marquess Camden, August 1812)
8 April – December 1812 Tory
Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool
Henry Phipps, 1st Earl of Mulgrave
January 1819 – May 1820
Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne
April – July 1827 Whig George Canning
William Bentinck, 4th Duke of Portland
July – September 1827 Tory (Canningite)
George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle 22 November 1830 – 5 June 1834 Whig Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
3 September 1841 – July 1846 Conservative Robert Peel
Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne
28 December 1852 – 21 February 1858 Whig George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen
(until February 1855)
Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Lord John Russell
February 1853 – June 1854 George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen
Spencer Horatio Walpole
May 1867 – February 1868 Conservative Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby
Michael Hicks Beach
7 March 1887 – 20 February 1888 Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury

Edwardian and wartime

Name Portrait Concurrent office(s) Tenure Political party Prime Minister
Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne
25 May 1915 – December 1916 Liberal Unionist H. H. Asquith
(Coalition)
Arthur Henderson
Member of the War Cabinet 10 December 1916 – 12 August 1917 Labour David Lloyd George
(Coalition)
Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner
10 December 1916 – 18 April 1918 Conservative
Jan Smuts
22 June 1917 – 10 January 1919 South African Party
Edward Carson
17 July 1917 – 21 January 1918 Ulster Unionist Party (Irish Unionist)
George Barnes
Member of the War Cabinet (until October 1919) 13 August 1917 – 27 January 1920 Labour
Austen Chamberlain
Member of the War Cabinet 18 April 1918 – 10 January 1919 Conservative
Eric Campbell Geddes
10 January – 31 October 1919
Laming Worthington-Evans
Member of the War Cabinet (until October 1919) 10 January 1919 – 13 February 1921
Christopher Addison
1 April – 14 July 1921 Liberal
Anthony Eden
Minister for League of Nations affairs 7 June – 22 December 1935 Conservative Stanley Baldwin
(Coalition)
Eustace Percy
7 June 1935 – 31 March 1936
Leslie Burgin
Minister of Supply-designate 21 April – 14 July 1939 National Liberal Party Neville Chamberlain
(Coalition)
Maurice Hankey
Member of the War Cabinet September 1939 – 10 May 1940 no party Neville Chamberlain
(Coalition)
Arthur Greenwood
11 May 1940 – 22 February 1942 Labour Winston Churchill
(Coalition)
William Jowitt
30 December 1942 – 8 October 1944

Post-war

Name Portrait Concurrent office(s) Tenure Political party Prime Minister
A. V. Alexander
4 October – 20 December 1946 Labour Co-operative Clement Attlee
Arthur Greenwood
17 April – 29 September 1947 Labour
Geoffrey FitzClarence, 5th Earl of Munster 18 October 1954 – 1957 Conservative Winston Churchill
Anthony Eden
Stormont Mancroft, 2nd Baron Mancroft 11 June 1957 – 1958 Harold Macmillan
Henry Scrymgeour-Wedderburn, 11th Earl of Dundee
23 October 1958 – 1961 Unionist
Percy Mills, 1st Baron Mills Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 9 October 1961 – 13 July 1962 Conservative
Bill Deedes 13 July 1962 – 16 October 1964
Alec Douglas-Home
Peter Carington, 6th Baron Carrington
Leader of the House of Lords 20 October 1963 – 16 October 1964
Eric Fletcher 19 October 1964 – 6 April 1966 Labour Harold Wilson
Arthur Champion, Baron Champion Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 21 October 1964 – 7 January 1967
Douglas Houghton 6 April 1966 – 7 January 1967
Edward Shackleton, Baron Shackleton Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 7 January 1967 – 16 January 1968
Patrick Gordon Walker
7 January – 21 August 1967
George Thomson 17 October 1968 – 6 October 1969
Peter Shore 6 October 1969 – 19 June 1970
Niall Macpherson, 1st Baron Drumalbyn 15 October 1970 – 1974 Unionist Edward Heath
Morys Bruce, 4th Baron Aberdare 8 January – March 1974 Conservative
David Young, Baron Young of Graffham
advising on unemployment 11 September 1984 – 3 September 1985 Margaret Thatcher
Jeremy Hanley Chairman of the Conservative Party 20 July 1994 – 5 July 1995 John Major
Brian Mawhinney 5 July 1995 – 2 May 1997
Peter Mandelson[1]
called the "Dome Secretary"[2] 5 May 1997 – 26 July 1998 Labour Tony Blair

21st century

Name Portrait Concurrent office(s) Term of office Length of term of office Political party Prime Minister
Charles Clarke[3]
Labour Party Chair 8 June 2001 24 October 2002 1 year, 4 months and 16 days Labour Tony Blair
John Reid[4]
24 October 2002 4 April 2003 5 months and 11 days
Ian McCartney[5]
4 April 2003 5 May 2006 3 years, 1 month and 1 day
Hazel Blears[6]
5 May 2006 28 June 2007 1 year, 1 month and 23 days
no appointment 28 June 2007 12 May 2010 2 years, 10 months and 14 days Gordon Brown
Sayeeda Warsi[7][8]
Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party 12 May 2010 6 September 2012 2 years, 3 months and 25 days Conservative David Cameron
(Coalition)
Grant Shapps[9]
6 September 2012 8 May 2015 2 years, 8 months and 2 days
Kenneth Clarke[10]
Trade envoy 6 September 2012 14 July 2014 1 year, 10 months and 8 days
John Hayes[11]
Senior Parliamentary Adviser to the Prime Minister (Cabinet Office) 28 March 2013 15 July 2014 1 year, 3 months and 17 days
Robert Halfon[12]
Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party 8 May 2015 17 July 2016 1 year, 2 months and 9 days David Cameron
no appointment 17 July 2016 8 January 2018 1 year, 5 months and 22 days Theresa May
Brandon Lewis[13]
Chairman of the Conservative Party 8 January 2018 24 July 2019 1 year, 6 months and 16 days
James Cleverly[14]
24 July 2019 13 February 2020 6 months and 20 days Boris Johnson
Amanda Milling[15]
13 February 2020 15 September 2021 1 year, 7 months and 2 days
Oliver Dowden[16]
15 September 2021 Incumbent 4 months and 2 days*

* Incumbent's length of term last updated: 17 January 2022.

List of shadow officeholders

Name Portrait Term of office Length of term of office Party Leader
The Lord Wood of Anfield[17]
17 October 2011 27 May 2015 3 years, 7 months and 10 days Labour Miliband
27 May 2015 14 September 2015 Labour Harman
Jonathan Ashworth[18]
14 September 2015 7 October 2016 1 year and 23 days Labour Corbyn
Andrew Gwynne[19]
7 October 2016 14 June 2017 8 months and 7 days Labour
Ian Lavery
9 February 2017 5 April 2020 3 years, 1 month and 27 days Labour
Vacant 5 April 2020 Present 1 year, 9 months and 12 days* Labour Starmer

* Incumbent's length of term last updated: 17 January 2022.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Lord Mandelson". UK Parliament. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Mandelson and Heseltine defend Dome". BBC NEWS. 28 January 1998. Retrieved 28 July 2021. The Minister without Portfolio, Peter Mandelson, has told MPs the Millennium Dome is "on time and on budget" as he faced Conservative criticisms of "secrecy and arrogance" in the House of Commons. The so-called 'Dome Secretary' was joined by Michael Heseltine in a robust defence of the project...
  3. ^ "Rt Hon Charles Clarke". UK Parliament. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Lord Reid of Cardowan". UK Parliament. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Sir Ian McCartney". UK Parliament. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  6. ^ "Rt Hon Hazel Blears". UK Parliament. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  7. ^ "Baroness Warsi". UK Parliament. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Ministers Reflect - Minister Baroness Warsi". Institute for Government. 24 April 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2021. Sayeeda Warsi looks back on her time in the Coalition Government, starting with figuring out what exactly was a Minister without Portfolio.
  9. ^ "Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Lord Clarke of Nottingham". UK Parliament. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Rt Hon John Hayes MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  12. ^ "Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  13. ^ "Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Rt Hon James Cleverly MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  15. ^ "Rt Hon Amanda Milling MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  16. ^ "Rt Hon Oliver Dowdon MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  17. ^ "Lord Wood of Anfield". UK Parliament. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Rt Hon Jonathan Ashworth MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  19. ^ "Andrew Gwynne MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 26 July 2021.