Former Minister for Portsmouth Michael Fallon keeps defence role

Michael Fallon
Michael Fallon

Portsmouth MP flies out to storm-hit islands on first trip as development secretary

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FORMER minister for Portsmouth Michael Fallon has been reappointed as the defence secretary.

The move comes after Mr Fallon made assurances to The News during a visit to Portsmouth there will be no further cuts to the navy – and said a huge spending programme is in place.

Mr Fallon spoke of the government’s commitment to the naval aircraft carrier and hunter-killer submarine building programme and said the plan is to replace each of the navy’s frigates.

Meanwhile, Michael Gove has made a return to the top of government as justice secretary and Lord Chancellor.

David Cameron confirmed the former education secretary will replace Chris Grayling, who becomes leader of the House of Commons.

The prime minister also confirmed Nicky Morgan would continue in her post as education secretary, in what is being described as a ‘huge vote of confidence’ in her performance.

The return of Mr Gove to the cabinet table will be seen as vindication after his move last year from education secretary to chief whip, in what was widely perceived to be a demotion.

He refused to take the blame while on the campaign trail with newly-elected Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond for poor education standards in the city.

Mr Gove said the solution to resolving problems in state schools was for them to become academies.

And he said issues with poor results in Portsmouth was associated with the former Labour government and the former Lib Dem city council administration was also at fault.

Mr Cameron also reappointed chancellor George Osborne, foreign secretary Philip Hammond and home secretary Theresa May to their old posts within hours of his reinstallation in Downing Street.

Mr Osborne’s significance in the new administration was reinforced by his appointment as first secretary of state – the highest ranking cabinet minister and effectively number two to the prime minister.