PORTSMOUTH North MP Penny Mordaunt has spoken of her delight after becoming the first female armed forces minister.
Prime Minister David Cameron announced her new job role for the Ministry of Defence as part of his cabinet reshuffle.
He tweeted that she would be the ‘first woman in this role’.
Ms Mordaunt had previously been parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Communities and Local Government, with responsibilities including high streets and coastal communities.
A Royal Navy reservist, she has served as a sub-lieutenant at King Alfred on Whale Island.
The daughter of a paratrooper, Ms Mordaunt is named after the Leander-class frigate HMS Penelope.
Arriving at the department yesterday for her new job, she said: ‘I am delighted to have been appointed to the role of Minister of State for the Armed Forces and I am particularly proud to be the first woman to take up the role.
‘As a Royal Navy reservist I am extremely pleased to be given the opportunity to work alongside the military who defend us with such dedication and professionalism.
‘The UK’s armed forces have consistently proved their high readiness and ability to deploy with an impressive and vast array of capabilities both internationally and on the domestic stage. Over the last year alone they have been at the forefront of responding to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone; helping to tackle the barbaric scourge of Isil in Iraq as well as successfully drawing down military operations in Afghanistan.
‘I look forward to working with my military and civilian colleagues in the Ministry of Defence to meet the challenges that lie ahead.’
Ms Mordaunt did not talk about protecting jobs in the defence sector, but city council leader Donna Jones was encouraged by the appointment.
She told The News: ‘This is absolutely fantastic news for Penny, both personally and also for the city of Portsmouth to have one of our MPs in a key position in the Ministry of Defence. I am confident jobs in the dockyard will be as protected as they possibly can be.
‘It’s a great sign for the city.
‘The future is looking incredibly bright. The Prime Minister has made some very wise decisions and ones that are particularly beneficial to Portsmouth.’
Meanwhile, there was no announcement about the Minister for Portsmouth, or whether the job role will remain in the new parliament.
A spokesman for 10 Downing Street said more appointments could come today, but he was not certain whether the Minister for Portsmouth would be one of them.