Appointment of new city minister welcomed by MP

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THE announcement of a new Minister for Portsmouth has been praised by a local MP.

Gosport’s Caroline Dinenage welcomed the announcement that Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, has been appointed in the role.

Previously occupied by Matt Hancock, it will see Mr Francois take responsibility for co-ordinating work across Whitehall to support jobs and growth in the city as well as the surrounding area.

Mr Francois is also Minister of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government with responsibility for coastal communities.

Speaking after the appointment, Ms Dinenage said: ‘I’m delighted to hear that Mark has been appointed.

‘Having been a Minister at the Ministry of Defence for a number of years, Mark understands our area’s proud links to the Royal Navy, our defence industry 
and their importance to the national economy.

‘I am very much looking forward to working with him and hope to welcome him to Gosport in the near future.’

Mr Francois is the third city minister following the appointment of Michael Fallon in January 2014 and Mr Hancock in July 2014.

Following last week’s general election there was uncertainty over whether the role of Minister for Portsmouth would continue.