North Devon MP Nick Harvey has lost his ministerial position in today’s government reshuffle.
Mr Harvey was the coalition government’s armed forces minister but learned today that he is being replaced.
The Liberal Democrat MP said in a statement today: “It has been a pleasure to have served as a defence minister and an honour to have worked with our armed forces, whose courage, dedication and professionalism inspire all who come into contact with them.
“This has been a challenging period and we have had to make very tough and sometimes unpalatable decisions about reductions in our defences, at the same time as sustaining the operation in Afghanistan and other security tasks like the recent effort supporting the Olympics.
“Nick Clegg made it clear that the decision was not a reflection on my performance in the job, which he said was widely regarded as having been excellent, but rather a strategic political decision to ‘trade’ this post for one in another government department. My replacement at Defence will therefore be a Conservative.
“I will continue to support the coalition government, and my Liberal Democrat colleagues working so hard as part of it, from the slightly freer and less regimented world of the backbenches.
“And I look forward to having more time with my family – and for my constituency work in North Devon, which I have been proud to represent in Parliament for twenty years.”