On September 6, 2022, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss appointed Conservative MP James Cleverly as the UK’s new Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development.
In an unexpected move, Truss also appointed Conservative MP Vicky Ford to be the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) first Development Minister. The Development Minister post reports to the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development but will attend the Prime Minister’s cabinet meetings. The creation of the new post has been welcomed by UK NGOs.
Formerly a Minister of State within the FCDO, Cleverly was promoted within this role to Minister of State for Europe and North America in February 2022, and was seen by many as Truss’s de facto deputy foreign secretary while Truss managed the UK's response to the war in Ukraine. Cleverly was also co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Trade out of Poverty. As a Minister in the FCDO, he consistently defended the ODA cuts.
Vicky Ford was also formerly a Minister of State in the FCDO, where she was responsible for covering assistance in Africa, British International Investment (BII), global education, and gender equality.