Penrith MPgiven rolein Foreign Office

Date: Friday 23rd June 2017

PENRITH and the Border MP Rory Stewart has been appointed minister of state for Africa.

It expands his existing job at the Department for International Develop-ment with a Foreign Office role.

Mr. Stewart, aged 44, has previously made no secret of his desire to work in the Foreign Office. He said: “I am so excited to have the role of minister for Africa in both the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Develop-ment.

“Africa is an extraordinary continent with so much potential. There is also a great historical relationship between Africa, Europe and the world, which needs to be developed and deepened.

“I am really looking forward to learning from Africans, to listening to the experiences of people on the ground and building relationships that, if we can get them right, should flourish over 30, 40, 50 years with mutual respect and learning between Africa and the United Kingdom.”

Previously, Mr. Stewart was under secretary of state at Defra where he was floods minister between May, 2015 and July, 2016. He oversaw the Government’s response to the devastating winter floods of 2015-16.

Earlier this month he was re-elected to represent the Penrith and the Border constituency for a third time. Previously, Mr. Stewart has addressed criticisms of British spending overseas at a time of cutbacks in government finances.

“As we have learned again and again, through terrorism, world wars and economic crises, what happens abroad can have a devastating impact on our lives at home,” he said. “Playing a responsible international role is not just a moral obligation, it is also in our own long-term interest. The route to peace at home lies in seriousness and energy abroad.”

Mr. Stewart is the sixth minister in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which is led by Boris Johnson.