Minister of State for the Armed Forces

The Minister of State for the Armed Forces is a high-ranking ministerial position, subordinate only to the Secretary of State for Defence, at the Ministry of Defence in Her Majesty's Government.

Minister of State for the Armed Forces
Royal Arms as used by Her Majesty's Government
Mark Lancaster

since 12 June 2017
Ministry of Defence
Member ofDefence Council
Admiralty Board
Army Board
Air Force Board
Reports toSecretary of State for Defence
NominatorSecretary of State for Defence
AppointerPrime Minister
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
Term lengthNo fixed term
Inaugural holderPeter Blaker

The post is currently held by Col Mark Lancaster, in the Johnson ministry.


The responsibilities of the Minister of State for the Armed Forces are:

  • All matters regarding Regular and Reserve Armed Forces
  • Operations including Iraq, Counter-Terrorism, UK Operations, Northern Ireland and the Balkans
  • Bilateral defence relations outside the NATO/Europe area
  • Inquiries, Boards of Inquiry, Inquests
  • Legal issues including detention
  • Arms and Export Control
  • Regional issues and the devolved Administrations
  • The agencies DASA and DVA

List of Ministers of State for the Armed Forces

Colour key (for political parties):
  Conservative   Labour   Liberal Democrats

Name Portrait Term of office Political party Prime Minister Defence Secretary
Peter Blaker 29 May 1981 13 June 1983 Conservative Thatcher Nott
John Stanley 13 June 1983 13 June 1987
Ian Stewart 13 June 1987 25 July 1988
Archie Hamilton 25 July 1988 27 May 1993
Conservative Major Rifkind
Jeremy Hanley 27 May 1993 14 June 1994
Nicholas Soames 14 June 1994 2 May 1997
John Reid 2 May 1997 27 July 1998 Labour Blair Robertson
Doug Henderson 27 July 1998 29 July 1999
John Spellar 29 July 1999 7 June 2001 Hoon
Adam Ingram 7 June 2001 29 June 2007
Bob Ainsworth 29 June 2007 5 May 2009 Labour Brown
Bill Rammell 5 May 2009 11 May 2010 Ainsworth
Nick Harvey 13 May 2010 4 September 2012 Liberal Democrats Cameron
Andrew Robathan 4 September 2012 7 October 2013 Conservative
Mark Francois 7 October 2013 11 May 2015
Penny Mordaunt 11 May 2015 15 July 2016 Conservative Cameron
Mike Penning 15 July 2016 12 June 2017 Conservative May
Mark Lancaster 12 July 2017 Incumbent


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