Born in Chelmsford, Essex, James Cleverly joined the army after school but was forced to leave due to injury. He still volunteers with the Territorial Army and has achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Upon returning to civilian life, he built a career in magazine and digital publishing, culminating in him setting up his own company.

Political Career

"Cleverly was elected as the MP for the Conservative safe seat of Braintree, Essex, at the 2015 election. Prior to this, he had served as a member of the London Assembly, holding various roles including Chair of the London Waste and Recycling Board and Chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

Cleverly was appointed to his first ministerial role, Minister for Exiting the European Union, in 2019. He only held this role for a short number of months before being appointed as Chairman of the Conservative Party when Boris Johnson became Prime Minister. He held this role during the 2019 election. He then moved to the Foreign Office, holding numerous portfolios until 2022. Following a brief stint as Secretary of State for Education in the Summer of 2022, he was appointed as Foreign Secretary in September 2022, following Liz Truss' election as Prime Minister.".

Views on portfolio

"A strong ally of the new Prime Minister, it is widely expected that Cleverly’s appointment will mean strong alignment with the new Prime Minister's agenda. This means a continuation of the ‘Global Britain’ agenda, with a ‘network of liberty’ concept that brings together diplomacy, development, trade and security policy to build international coalition in opposition to authoritarian powers, most notably China.

That said, he will be keen to carve out his own brief in the role – not least because he has done little to dampen rumours of his own leadership ambitions in the future.".


James Cleverly

Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs

James Cleverly