Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State

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A Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (or Parliamentary Secretary in a government department not headed by a Secretary of State) is the lowest of three tiers of government minister in the government of the United Kingdom, junior to both a Minister of State and a Secretary of State.[1]

The position should neither be confused with a Permanent Under-Secretary of State (commonly referred to as a Permanent Secretary), which is the most senior civil servant in a government department, nor with a Parliamentary Private Secretary, which is a Member of Parliament serving as an unpaid assistant to a minister.[1][2]

Having been an under-secretary in Macmillan's 1957–1963 Conservative government, the Duke of Devonshire noted "No one who hasn't been a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State has any conception of how unimportant a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State is".[3]


  1. ^ a b Cabinet Office (Oct 2011). "Cabinet Manual" (PDF) (1st ed.). HM Government. Retrieved 12 Jan 2018. 
  2. ^ "Parliamentary Private Secretaries - Glossary page". UK Parliament website. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 12 Jan 2018. 
  3. ^ Philip Ziegler, ‘Cavendish, Andrew Robert Buxton, eleventh duke of Devonshire (1920–2004)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Jan 2008

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