Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning has received a promotion within Parliament as Prime Minister David Cameron announced another reshuffle of his government ahead of next year’s general election.
The 56-year-old Tory politician became the new Minister of State at the Home Office with responsibility for policing, following a meeting with Mr Cameron this morning.
This will be a further ministerial post held by Mr Penning, who now moves on from the position of Minister of State for disabled people – a role he was only appointed to in October of last year.
He was also appoined a member of the Privy Council – the centuries-old body of senior politicians, judges and clergymen who advise the Queen on matters of state – in February.
But the former Northern Ireland minister says he is thrilled and delighted to have been given his latest role today at 10 Downing Street.
He said: “It is a great honour for me and I am looking forward to working with the police and the Police and Crime Commissioners.
“I am particularly happy that the role includes responsibility for child protection which is something I have cared and campaigned about for a long time.”
Mr Penning says his new remit is an area in which he has a particular interest, as he has often spoken out on issues to do with the leniency of sentencing for offenders and regularly goes out on patrol with police in his constituency.
Speaking of the post he has just left, Mr Penning said: “It was a difficult portfolio, but I have left it with some of the issues having been resolved.
“I loved it, but you are asked to serve and it has been a great honour to be able to say yes to this new role, which also fits quite well with the work I was doing in Northern Ireland.”
South West Herts MP David Gauke, whose constituency covers Berkhamsted and Tring, has also been promoted to financial secretary to the Treasury from his former role as exchequer secretary.
His new responsibilities will include childcare policy, the Royal Mint and the UK’s contribution to the EU budget and wider issues.
Other noteable changes in the reshuffle include the resignations from the cabinet of Foreign Secretary William Hague and minister without portfolio Ken Clarke.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond takes over the foreign office and former education secretary Michael Gove was handed the role of chief party whip, to be replaced by Treasury minister Nicky Morgan.