Newbury MP Laura Farris handed first ministerial position in PM Rishi Sunak’s government shake-up
Newbury MP Laura Farris has been promoted to her first ministerial position following this week’s government shake-up.
Ms Farris will work across the Home Office and Ministry of Justice as a parliamentary under secretary of state with a focus on safeguarding, victims and tackling violence against women.
She was parliamentary private secretary to the lord chancellor and secretary of state for justice before her promotion.
Ms Farris said: “I am very proud to be given this important role — one which is very close to my heart — and one I have banged the drum for locally and in Westminster.
“The women’s safety meetings I have held with the police, the council, the police and crime commissioner and businesses plus meetings and visits I have been to such as Flag DV — a free legal advice group for domestic violence based in Newbury — will very much inform the work I will do within the department.
“This is in addition to the national work I have undertaken meeting with domestic abuse charity Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse (AAFDA) and scrutiny of the government's response to the independent inquiry into the child sexual exploitation and the online safety bill.
“These are all areas that my brief will touch on and I thank everyone who has taken the time locally and nationally to talk to me so I feel well prepared for the role I now have the honour of holding.”
Ms Farris also thanked everyone who had sent their good wishes for her new job but added: “Of course, my focus will remain on Newbury and my work will continue on many issues such as water quality, fuel prices, a new bridge at Thatcham and protecting our racing industry to name but a few.”
Former Newbury MP Richard Benyon was also handed a promotion this week.
Lord Benyon, who was MP for Newbury for 14 years from 2005 to 2019, has become a minster for state in the Foreign, Commonwelth and Development Office.
This role is in addition to his duties as a minister of state in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Tweeting about the appointment, Lord Benyon said: “Delighted to be taking on this wider role in government.”
He also congratulated Ms Farris on her promotion, stating: “I’m very glad to see Laura Farris has been made a minister. She has real talent and is one to watch.”
Former prime minister David Cameron, who was raised in Peasemore, was named as the country’s new foreign secretary seven years after he left Downing Street.
This came after current PM Rishi Sunak sacked Suella Braverman as home secretary, paving the way for James Cleverly to replace her at the Home Office and for Mr Cameron to make a shock return to government.