Becoming Secretary of State


This report from the UK think tank Institute for Government looks at the preparations for MPs before becoming a Secretary of State.

MPs with ambitions of being put in charge of a department must prepare, plan and set priorities now if they want to make an impact. But there is very little advice for new ministers on how to do the job, what happens upon appointment and the early decisions they will need to make. This paper fills that gap. Drawing on extensive interviews with former ministers, the report says that many secretaries of state will only have a short tenure in office, 18 months to two years if they are lucky. The break-neck speed and expectation that they hit the ground running leaves little time to adjust and consider how to do the job well.

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