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National Security Council (United Kingdom)

United Kingdom
National Security Council
Committee overview
Formed 12 May 2010
Committee executives David Cameron, Prime Minister, Chair
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Chair
Parent department Cabinet Office
Website /national-security-council/

The National Security Council (NSC) of the United Kingdom is a Cabinet Committee tasked with overseeing all issues related to national security, intelligence coordination, and defence strategy. The NSC was established on 12 May 2010 by Prime Minister David Cameron. The Council will coordinate responses to threats faced by the United Kingdom and integrating at the highest level the work of relevant government entities with respect to national security.[1]


  • Council members 1
  • National Security Adviser 2
  • National Security Secretariat 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Council members

Following the July 2014 Cabinet reshuffle, the NSC's members are as follows:[2]

Officeholder Office(s)
The Rt Hon. David Cameron MP Prime Minister (Chair)
The Rt Hon. Nick Clegg MP Deputy Prime Minister (Deputy Chair)
The Rt Hon. George Osborne MP Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Rt Hon. William Hague MP First Secretary of State and Leader of the House of Commons
The Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The Rt Hon. Michael Fallon MP Secretary of State for Defence
The Rt Hon. Theresa May MP Secretary of State for the Home Department
The Rt Hon. Justine Greening MP Secretary of State for International Development
The Rt Hon. Ed Davey MP Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
The Rt Hon. Danny Alexander MP Chief Secretary to the Treasury
The Rt Hon. Oliver Letwin MP Minister for Government Policy

Other government ministers, senior officials, military and intelligence officers attend as necessary, some on a regular basis. There are two subcommittees of the NSC,[3] Nuclear Deterrence and Security and Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingencies. The Leader of the Opposition, The Rt Hon. Ed Miliband MP, is an attendee on an occasional basis.

National Security Adviser

The first National Security Adviser (NSA) of the United Kingdom was Sir Peter Ricketts,[4] who was previously Permanent Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. He handed over to Sir Nigel Kim Darroch in January 2012. The National Security Adviser is a Civil Service position based in the Cabinet Office and heads up a team called the National Security Secretariat.

National Security Secretariat

From July 2010, there were two Deputy National Security Advisers (DNSAs): Julian Miller for Foreign & Defence Policy and Oliver Robbins for Intelligence, Security & Resilience.[4] By March 2013, Hugh Powell - previously a National Security Secretariat Director - had been promoted to a newly-created third DNSA position.[5] As of 6 November 2014, the three DNSAs were: Hugh Powell as DNSA (Foreign Policy), Julian Miller as DNSA (Defence, Nuclear and Strategy) and Paddy McGuinness as DNSA (Intelligence, Security & Resilience).[2]

As of November 2014, the National Security Secretariat is staffed by approximately 200 officials and comprises five directorates: Foreign & Defence Policy; the Civil Contingencies Secretariat; Security & Intelligence; the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance, and UK Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT UK).[2]


  1. ^ "Press Notice: Establishment of a National Security Council". 12 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Dr Joe Devanny & Josh Harris. "The National Security Council: national security at the centre of government". Institute for Government & King's College London. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Cabinet Committee Memberships".  
  4. ^ a b "Cabinet Office Structure Charts, page 12".  
  5. ^ "Cabinet Office staff and salary data – senior posts as at 31 March 2013". Retrieved 7 November 2014. 

External links

  • Cabinet Office - National Security Council
  • Cabinet Office - National Security
  • The National Security Council: national security at the centre of governmentInstitute for Government/King's College London -

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