Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland
The Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Oifis Rùnaire na Stàite airson Alba), often referred to as the Scotland Office, is a UK government department headed by the Secretary of State for Scotland and responsible for Scottish affairs within the British Government. Its role combines with that of the Ministry of Justice in HM Government.
|Scottish Gaelic: Oifis Rùnaire na Stàite airson Alba|
|Type||Department of HM Government|
|Annual budget||£8 million for 2011–12|
The office is responsible for the representation of Scotland and Scottish affairs in HM Government, facilitating the smooth operation of devolution, liaising between the UK Government and the Scottish Government at Edinburgh and the administering of certain reserved matters of government relating to Scotland.
Until the advent of the Scottish Parliament and the devolved Scottish Government, the Scottish Office (the precursor to the Scotland Office) was a major UK government department dealing with most aspects of the domestic governance of Scotland, a position known as "administrative devolution". Since devolution its powers are limited to those relating to reserved matters that are not dealt with by other departments of HM Government and it, along with the Wales Office, was then absorbed into the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA), which in turn became the Ministry of Justice. The Secretary of State for Scotland also holds certain powers of oversight over the operation of the Scottish Parliament under the Scotland Act 1998.
The Scotland Office Ministers are as follows:
|The Rt Hon. David Mundell MP||Secretary of State||Overall responsibility for the department, constitutional affairs, general economic policy, defence|
|Lord Duncan of Springbank||Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State||Brexit, agriculture & fisheries, energy, financial affairs, higher education|
- Alistair Darling (2003–2006), also Secretary of State for Transport;
- Douglas Alexander (2006–2007), also Secretary of State for Transport; and
- Des Browne (2007–2008), also Secretary of State for Defence.
Michael Crockart (a Liberal Democrat MP) resigned his post as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State on 9 December 2010 over the United Kingdom Government's plan for an increase in tuition fees.
The following have been head of the Scotland Office (since 2009, this position has been called Director of the Scotland Office):
- 1999–2002: Ian William Gordon (as Head of Department)
- 2002–2005: David Jonathan Crawley (as Head of Department)
- 2005–2007: James Richmond Wildgoose (as Head of Department)
- 2007–2009: David Fraser Middleton (as Head of Department; later CBE)
- 2009–2012: Alisdair Douglas McIntosh
- 2012–2015: Alun Trevor Bernard Evans, CBE
- 2015–2017: Francesca Osowska
- 2017–present: Gillian McGregor, CBE
- The Scottish Secretaries, David Torrance. (Birlinn 2006)
- Spending Review 2010 (PDF). London: HM Treasury. 2010. p. 88. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 November 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "About". Scotland Office.
- "Scotland Office". cabinetoffice.gov.uk.
- The dates and names are taken from their entries in Who's Who.