A HAMPSHIRE MP was promoted in David Cameron’s reshuffle – then immediately admitted many of his constituents would not like his new job.
Desmond Swayne, the New Forest West MP, landed a job as senior minister in the department for international development, after nearly two years as a whip.
The move will bring responsibility for the Middle East and North Africa – including troublespots such as Syria and Libya – as well as the Caribbean and the UK’s overseas territories.
Mr Swayne said he was delighted by the promotion, telling the Daily Echo: “It’s the portfolio I wanted - it’s something I’ve always been interested in.
“I have worked in Rwanda for six years on an international development project and I have always felt passionately that it’s a very important brief.
However, Mr Swayne admitted the appointment might not be popular with his constituents who oppose the flagship Tory policy of hiking international aid.
The prime minister has come under fire from many Conservative supporters after the UK reached its target of spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on aid.
Mr Swayne admitted: “It’s not the most popular subject for many of my constituents, who complain about the level of international aid, especially at a time of austerity.
“I probably get three letters a week complaining about it, saying the money should be spent on pensioners instead.
“However, I think it’s vitally important if we are to retain the security of our borders against the movement of people trying to escape the disaster areas of the world.”
The promotion is Mr Swayne’s first ministerial post, after he spent seven years as Mr Cameron’s unpaid parliamentary aide, in opposition and Government.”
The reshuffle also saw Michael Fallon replaced by Matt Hancock as the controversial ‘Minister for Portsmouth’ – not to be confused with Mike Hancock, the disgraced Lib Dem MP for Portsmouth South.