Secretary of State
for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Official portrait of Kwasi Kwarteng.jpg
Incumbent
Kwasi Kwarteng

since 8 January 2021
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
StyleBusiness Secretary
(informal)
The Right Honourable
(UK and the Commonwealth)
StatusSecretary of state
Minister of the Crown
Member ofCabinet
Privy Council
National Security Council
Reports toThe Prime Minister
SeatWestminster
AppointerThe Crown
on advice of the Prime Minister
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's Pleasure
Formation
  • 20 October 1963:
    Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development
  • 14 July 2016:
    Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
First holderEdward Heath
as Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development
Websitewww.gov.uk

The secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, also referred to as the business secretary, is a secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom, with overall responsibility for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.[1] The incumbent is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, tenth in the ministerial ranking.[2]

The incumbent is Kwasi Kwarteng, following his appointment by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 8 January 2021.

Responsibilities

Corresponding to what is generally known as a commerce minister in many other countries, the business secretary's remit includes:

History

During the government of Sir Alec Douglas-Home, the then President of the Board of Trade Edward Heath was given in addition the job of Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development. This title was not continued under Harold Wilson, but when Heath became Prime Minister in 1970 he decided to merge functions of the Board of Trade and the Ministry of Technology to create the Department of Trade and Industry. The head of this department became known as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and also retained the title of President of the Board of Trade.

When Harold Wilson re-entered office in March 1974, the office was split into the Department of Trade, the Department of Industry and the Department of Prices and Consumer Protection, resulting in the creation of three new positions: Secretary of State for Industry, Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection, and Secretary of State for Trade. The title President of the Board of Trade became the secondary title of the secretary of state for trade. By 1979 the Department of Prices and Consumer Protection was abolished by the incoming Conservative government and its responsibilities were reintegrated into the Department of Trade. Furthermore, 1983 the offices of trade and industry were remerged and the title of Secretary of State for Trade and Industry was recreated. When Michael Heseltine held this office, he preferred to be known by the older title of President of the Board of Trade, and this practice was also followed by Ian Lang and Margaret Beckett. Heseltine's decision to reuse the old title caused some controversy, and it was discovered[by whom?] that the Board of Trade had not in fact met since the mid-nineteenth century.[citation needed]

Under Gordon Brown's premiership there were two renamings of the role and three re-alignments of responsibility. In his first cabinet of 2007, he called the post Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. With this change, the Better Regulation Executive was added to the department but the Office of Science and Innovation was lost. In 2008, the title remained the same but responsibility for energy was lost. In 2009, the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was merged into the existing department and the post became Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

In July 2016, Prime Minister Theresa May decided to merge the Department for Energy and Climate Change into this department with the responsibilities for post-19 education and skills being returned to the Department for Education resulting in the position being renamed to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. At the same time in July 2016, the post of President of the Board of Trade was transferred to the newly created post of Secretary of State for International Trade.[4]

List of secretaries of state

Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development (1963–1964)

Name Portrait Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
Edward Heath

MP for Bexley

Heathdod.JPG
20 October 1963 16 October 1964 Conservative Alec Douglas-Home

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1970–1974)

Name Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
John Davies

MP for Knutsford

15 October 1970 5 November 1972 Conservative Edward Heath
Peter Walker

MP for Worcester

5 November 1972 4 March 1974

Secretaries of State for Industry; Prices; and Trade (1974–1983)

Secretary of State for Industry

Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection

Secretary of State for Trade

Political party Prime Minister
Name Took office Left office Name Took office Left office Name Took office Left office
Tony Benn

MP for Bristol South East

5 March 1974 10 June 1975 Shirley Williams

MP for Hertford and Stevenage

5 March 1974 10 September 1976 Peter Shore

MP for Stepney and Poplar

5 March 1974 8 April 1976 Labour Harold Wilson
Eric Varley

MP for Chesterfield

10 June 1975 4 May 1979
Edmund Dell

MP for Birkenhead

8 April 1976 11 November 1978 Labour James Callaghan
Roy Hattersley

MP for Birmingham Sparkbrook

10 September 1976 4 May 1979
John Smith

MP for North Lanarkshire

11 November 1978 4 May 1979
Keith Joseph

MP for Leeds North East

4 May 1979 14 September 1981 OFFICE ABOLISHED
(responsibilities returned to the Trade Secretary)
John Nott

MP for St Ives

5 May 1979 5 January 1981 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
John Biffen

MP for Oswestry

5 January 1981 6 April 1982
Patrick Jenkin

MP for Wanstead and Woodford

14 September 1981 12 June 1983
The Lord Cockfield 6 April 1982 12 June 1983

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1983–2007)

Name Portrait Took office Left office Political party Prime minister
Cecil Parkinson

MP for Hertsmere

12 June 1983 11 October 1983 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Norman Tebbit

MP for Chingford

Official portrait of Lord Tebbit crop 2.jpg
16 October 1983 2 September 1985
Leon Brittan

MP for Richmond (Yorks)

Leon Brittan (1996) 02.jpg
2 September 1985 22 January 1986
Paul Channon

MP for Southend West

24 January 1986 13 June 1987
The Lord Young of Graffham
Lord young of Graffham.jpg
13 June 1987 24 July 1989
Nicholas Ridley

MP for Cirencester and Tewkesbury

24 July 1989 13 July 1990
Peter Lilley

MP for St Albans

Official portrait of Lord Lilley crop 2.jpg
14 July 1990 10 April 1992
Conservative John Major
Michael Heseltine[a]

MP for Henley

Lord Heseltine (6969083278).jpg
10 April 1992 5 July 1995
Ian Lang[a]

MP for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale

Official Portrait of Lord Lang of Monkton crop 2.jpg
5 July 1995 2 May 1997
Margaret Beckett[a]

MP for Derby South

Official portrait of Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP crop 2.jpg
2 May 1997 27 July 1998 Labour Tony Blair
Peter Mandelson

MP for Hartlepool

Peter Mandelson at Politics of Climate Change 3.jpg
27 July 1998 23 December 1998
Stephen Byers

MP for North Tyneside

Blank.png
23 December 1998 8 June 2001
Patricia Hewitt

MP for Leicester West

Patricia Hewitt.jpg
8 June 2001 6 May 2005
Alan Johnson[b]

MP for Hull West and Hessle

Alan Johnson -9Oct2007-2.jpg
6 May 2005 5 May 2006
Alistair Darling

MP for Edinburgh South West

AlistairDarlingABr cropped.jpg
5 May 2006 27 June 2007
  1. ^ a b c Primarily referred to as President of the Board of Trade, and not as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
  2. ^ Alan Johnson was initially announced on 6 May 2005, after the general election, as being "Secretary of State for Productivity, Energy and Industry and President of the Board of Trade", but after just a week, on 13 May, it was declared that the new title would not be used, after widespread derision of the new name, because the abbreviation for Johnson's title, Productivity, Energy and Industry Secretary, would have been "PENIS".[5]

Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (2007–2009)

Name Portrait Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
John Hutton

MP for Barrow and Furness

Msc 2009-Sunday, 11.00 - 12.30 Uhr-Zwez 005 Hutton detail.jpg
28 June 2007 3 October 2008 Labour Gordon Brown
The Lord Mandelson

Lord Mandelson of Foy and Hartlepool

Peter Mandelson at Politics of Climate Change 3.jpg
3 October 2008 5 June 2009

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (2009–2016)

Name Portrait Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
The Lord Mandelson

Lord Mandelson of Foy and Hartlepool

Peter Mandelson at Politics of Climate Change 3.jpg
5 June 2009 11 May 2010 Labour Gordon Brown
Vince Cable

MP for Twickenham

Official portrait of Sir Vince Cable crop 2.jpg
12 May 2010 8 May 2015 Liberal Democrats David Cameron
(Coalition)
Sajid Javid

MP for Bromsgrove

Official portrait of Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP crop 2.jpg
11 May 2015 14 July 2016 Conservative David Cameron
(II)

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (2008–2016)

Name Portrait Term of office Political party Prime Minister
Ed Miliband

MP for Doncaster North

Official portrait of Rt Hon Edward Miliband MP crop 2.jpg
3 October 2008 11 May 2010 Labour Gordon Brown
Chris Huhne

MP for Eastleigh

Chris Huhne MP (5980495891).jpg
12 May 2010 3 February 2012 Liberal Democrats David Cameron
(Coalition)
Ed Davey

MP for Kingston and Surbiton

Official portrait of Rt Hon Sir Edward Davey MP crop 2.jpg
3 February 2012 8 May 2015 Liberal Democrats
Amber Rudd

MP for Hastings and Rye

Official portrait of Amber Rudd crop 2.jpg
11 May 2015 14 July 2016 Conservative David Cameron
(II)
Department abolished 2016, merged into Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (since 2016)

Name Portrait Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
Greg Clark

MP for Tunbridge Wells

Official portrait of Rt Hon Greg Clark MP crop 2.jpg
14 July 2016 24 July 2019 Conservative Theresa May
Andrea Leadsom

MP for South Northamptonshire

Official portrait of Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP crop 2.jpg
24 July 2019 13 February 2020 Conservative Boris Johnson
Alok Sharma

MP for Reading West

Official portrait of Alok Sharma crop 2.jpg
13 February 2020 8 January 2021 Conservative
Kwasi Kwarteng

MP for Spelthorne

Official portrait of Kwasi Kwarteng crop 2.jpg
8 January 2021 Incumbent Conservative

References

  1. ^ "Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy". gov.uk. Retrieved 30 June 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Her Majesty's Government: The Cabinet". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 30 June 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy". gov.uk.
  4. ^ "Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade". gov.uk.
  5. ^ "Profile: Alan Johnson". The Daily Telegraph. London. 18 June 2005.