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Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (the Home Secretary) is the chief United Kingdom government minister responsible for law and order in the United Kingdom; his or her remit includes policing, the criminal justice system, the prison service, internal security, and matters of citizenship and immigration. The Home Office has also previously dealt with social issues, including social exclusion, equality and race relations, but the responsibility for these areas is now held by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Unlike many other governments, the British government has separate departments for the issues dealt with by the Home Office and for legal, judicial and civil rights issues; these have been dealt with by the Lord Chancellor's Department[?]. The Lord Chancellor enjoys infamy because despite the significance of his role (which spans all three branches of government) he is unelected. There have been repeated calls for the scrapping of the office and its replacement with a Justice Department headed by an elected Cabinet member, or the merger of the department with the Home Office. In June 2003 the government announced, as part of a cabinet reshuffle, that it intended to abolish the Lord Chancellor and replace his department with a Department of Constitutional Affairs[?] headed by a Secretary of State.

Home Secretaries since 1782

  • William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne 1782
  • Thomas Townshend, later Viscount Sydney 1782-1783
  • Frederick North, Lord North 1783
  • Viscount Sydney 1783-1789
  • William Wyndham Grenville, Lord Grenville 1789-1791
  • Henry Dundas 1791-1794
  • William Cavendish Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland 1794-1801
  • Thomas Pelham, Earl of Chichester 1801-1803
  • Charles Philip Yorke 1803-1804
  • Robert Jenkinson, Lord Hawkesbury, later 2nd Earl of Liverpool[?] 1804-1806
  • George John Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer 1806-1807
  • Earl of Liverpool 1807-1809
  • Richard Ryder 1809-1812
  • Henry Addington, Viscount Sidmouth 1812-1822
  • Robert Peel 1822-1827
  • William Sturges-Bourne 1827
  • Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, Marquess of Lansdowne 1827-1828
  • Robert Peel 1828-1830
  • William Lamb, Viscount Melbourne 1830-1834
  • John Ponsonby, Earl of Bessborough 1834
  • Henry Goulburn 1834-1835
  • Lord John Russell 1835-1839
  • Constantine Phipps, 1st Marquess of Normanby 1839-1841
  • Sir James Graham 1841-1846
  • Sir George Grey 1846-1852
  • Spencer H. Walpole 1852
  • Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston 1852-1855
  • Sidney Herbert 1855
  • Sir George Grey 1855-1858
  • Spencer H. Walpole 1858-1859
  • Thomas Sutton Southern Escourt 1859
  • Sir George Cornewall Lewis 1859-1861
  • Sir George Grey 1861-1866
  • Spencer H. Walpole 1866-1867
  • Gathorne Hardy 1867-1868
  • Henry Austin Bruce, Lord Aberdare 1868-1873
  • Robert Lowe 1873-1874
  • Sir Richard Assheton Cross 1874-1880
  • Sir William Vernon Harcourt[?] 1880-1885
  • Sir Richard Assheton Cross 1885-1886
  • H.C.E. Childers 1886
  • Henry Matthews, Viscount Llandaff 1886-1892
  • Herbert Henry Asquith 1892-1895
  • Sir Matthew White Ridley 1895-1900
  • Charles Thomson Ritchie 1900-1902
  • Aretas Akers-Douglas 1902-1905
  • Herbert J. Gladstone 1905-1910
  • Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill 1910-1911
  • Reginald McKenna 1911-1915
  • Sir John A. Simon 1915-1916
  • Herbert Samuel 1916
  • Sir George Cave 1916-1919
  • Edward Shortt 1919-1922
  • William Clive Bridgeman 1922-1924
  • Arthur Henderson[?] 1924
  • William Hicks, Viscount Brentford 1924-1929
  • John R. Clynes 1929-1931
  • Sir Herbert Samuel 1931-1932
  • Sir John Gilmour 1932-1935
  • Sir John A. Simon 1935-1937
  • Sir Samuel Hoare 1937-1939
  • Sir John Anderson 1939-1940
  • Herbert Morrison 1940-1945
  • Sir Donald Bradley Somervell 1945
  • James Chuter Ede 1945-1951
  • Sir David Patrick Maxwell Fyfe 1951-1954
  • Gwilym Lloyd George 1954-1957
  • Richard Austen Butler 1957-1962
  • Henry Brooke 1962-1964
  • Sir Frank Soskice 1964-1965
  • Roy Jenkins 1965-1967
  • James Callaghan 1967-1970
  • Reginald Maulding 1970-1972
  • Leonard Carr 1972-1974
  • Roy Jenkins 1974-1976
  • Merlyn Rees 1976-1979
  • William Whitelaw 1979-1983
  • Leon Brittan 1983-1985
  • Douglas Hurd[?] 1985-1989
  • David Waddington 1989-1990
  • Kenneth Baker 1990-1992
  • Kenneth Clarke 1992-1993
  • Michael Howard 1993-1997
  • Jack Straw 1997-2001
  • David Blunkett 2001-



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