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Promotion for Desmond Swayne in reshuffle
12:48pm Wednesday 16th July 2014 in New Forest News
NEW Forest West MP Desmond Swayne has been promoted in David Cameron's reshuffle - but says many of his constituents will not like his new job.
Mr Swayne 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 trouble spots such as Syria and Libya - as well as the Caribbean and the UK's overseas territories.
Mr Swayne said: “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. He spent seven years as Mr Cameron's unpaid parliamentary aide in opposition and government.