FORMER armed forces minister Mark Francois has been appointed the new minister for Portsmouth, The News can reveal.
Downing Street has confirmed Mr Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford constituency in Essex, has taken over the role from Matthew Hancock.
Mr Francois has also been appointed communities secretary as part of the Tory government re-shuffle.
The city ministerial position has come under heavy scrutiny from local leaders who feel it has run its course and not been effective.
Michael Fallon MP was first appointed to the role in January 2014 in the wake of the loss of shipbuilding to try and boost the maritime economy.
Mr Fallon was replaced by Matthew Hancock after becoming defence secretary, but Mr Hancock stood down after becoming the government’s new cabinet office minister following the general election.