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Fareham MP Mark Hoban tells of disappointment at losing job as work minister
FAREHAM MP Mark Hoban has told of his “disappointment”
after his surprise sacking from the Government – to be replaced by a former TV presenter.
The 49-year-old lost his job as work minister, after little more than one year in the role, as David Cameron sought to freshen up his ministerial team.
The decision also saw Mr Hoban – who had previously served as a Treasury minister – leave the Conservative frontbench for the first time for 12 years.
It raised some eyebrows at Westminster, because the Prime Minister had made known that he was keen to promote MPs with northern links and ordinary backgrounds.
Mr Hoban was born in County Durham and educated at a state comprehensive – and has joked about his family’s horrified reaction when he joined the Conservatives.
He was replaced by Esther McVey, a Liverpool-born former GMTV presenter who had been a junior minister at the Department for Work and Pensions.
Speaking to the Daily Echo, Mr Hoban said: “I was disappointed, but I know the time comes when the Prime Minister wants to refresh his pack and this was a consequence of that.
“David told me I had done a good job, that he was very pleased with what I have done at both employment and at the Treasury.
“I have been on the frontbench for 12 of my 13 years as an MP. It’s been a great experience and I believe I’ve done some good things in Government – but it’s time to move on.”
Mr Hoban said he was looking forward to having the opportunity to speak on “a wider range of issues”, freed from a particular ministerial brief.
On Mr Cameron, he said: “I was a strong supporter in Government and I will continue to be so on the backbenches.“ There is much clearer division between the two parties than for some time and I want to spend my time making sure people know the right choice is David Cameron.”
Mr Hoban also leaves his post with unemployment falling and the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance at its lowest level since February 2009.
On the Labour side, Ed Miliband faced taunts after demoting three Blairite Shadow Cabinet members – Liam Byrne, Jim Murphy and Stephen Twigg – whose removal was demanded by Unite boss Len McCluskey.
And there was astonishment that Norman Baker, a Lib Dem who wrote a book claiming the Iraq War scientist David Kelly was murdered, was handed a Home Office brief.
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