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Nick's job loss was 'strategic'

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: September 11, 2012

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NORTH Devon MP Nick Harvey lost his ministerial position in this week's government reshuffle.

Mr Harvey was the coalition government's armed forces minister but was told on Tuesday he was being replaced.

The Liberal Democrat MP said in a statement: "It has been a pleasure to have served as a defence minister and an honour to have worked with our armed forces, whose courage, dedication and professionalism inspire all who come into contact with them.

"This has been a challenging period and we have had to make very tough and sometimes unpalatable decisions about reductions in our defences, at the same time as sustaining the operation in Afghanistan and other security tasks like the recent effort supporting the Olympics."

Mr Harvey said that the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg had praised his work.

"Nick made it clear that the decision was not a reflection on my performance in the job, which he said was widely regarded as having been excellent, but rather a strategic political decision to 'trade' this post for one in another of the Government's department.

"My replacement at defence will therefore be a Conservative," Mr Harvey said.

"I will continue to support the coalition government, and my Liberal Democrat colleagues working so hard as part of it."

"I look forward to having more time with my family – and for my constituency work in North Devon, which I have been proud to represent in Parliament for 20 years."

I'll continue to fight for region, Postbag, page 17.

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