Minister of State (Minister for Security)

The Rt Hon Tom Tugendhat MBE VR MP


Tom Tugendhat MP was appointed Minister of State (Minister for Security) on 6 September 2022 and attends cabinet. He previously served as the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee from 2017 to 2022.

He has been the MP for Tonbridge and Malling since 2015.

Before being elected as an MP, Tom served on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also worked for the Foreign Office, helping to set up the National Security Council of Afghanistan and the government in Helmand Province. On returning to the UK, Tom served as the military assistant and principal adviser to the Chief of the Defence Staff to the British Army.


Tom studied Theology at the University of Bristol, followed by a Master’s degree in Islamic studies at Cambridge University, which included learning Arabic in Yemen.


After graduating, Tom worked in Beirut as a journalist, and soon after established one of Lebanon’s first public relations companies. On his return to the UK, Tom joined the Territorial Army. When the Iraq War broke out in 2003, he was mobilised as an Arabic-speaking intelligence officer to serve with the Royal Marines.

In 2005, Tom was asked by the Foreign Office to travel to Afghanistan to establish the National Security Council. After two years in Afghanistan and a brief return to the UK, Tom was mobilised and served operationally for a further two years with the Royal Marines, for which he received an MBE, coming off his last patrol in July 2009.

Tom went on to work on the Army Strategy Team helping to prepare for the Strategic Defence and Security Review. He later served as the Chief of the Defence Staff’s military assistant and principal adviser. He remains an Army Reserve officer.

Defending Democracy Taskforce

The Minister is also responsible for establishing and chairing the Defending Democracy Taskforce, a cross-government initiative announced in November 2022 that aims to reduce the risk to the UK’s democratic processes, institutions and society and deliver a secure and resilient UK, free from threats of foreign interference.

Minister of State (Minister for Security)

The Minister’s responsibilities, on behalf of the Home Secretary, are:

  • countering terrorism
  • domestic state threats
  • cyber crime
  • economic crime
  • serious and organised crime

More about this role

Home Office