Harrogate’s MP Andrew Jones has said he will ensure the North’s voice is heard after he was appointed a junior minister for the Department of Transport today.
The MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough said he was very excited and ‘very much looking forward’ to tackling his new role as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department of Transport.
He said: “This is a national role but I do think we haven’t had our fair share of investment in the North and I will make sure the voice from the North is heard much more fully in future.”
Mr Jones will work alongside The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP who will continue his role as Secretary of State for Transport.
The Conservative MP was re-elected to the Harrogate and Knaresborough seat last week, increasing his majority by 15,332 votes as constituents deserted the Lib Dems in their droves.
Prime Minister, David Cameron called Mr Jones into a meeting at 10 Downing Street and asked him if he would take on the ministerial role.
Mr Jones said: “You can’t expect things like this, it is not your gift and it is a great honour.”
The Harrogate MP, was formerly a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the department and chaired the northern rail electrification task force, which concluded that the Leeds-Harrogate-York line should be a top priority for electrification earlier this years.
He said: “These roles demonstrated my interest in the subject of transport. I view the whole Department of Transport as having an economic role, investment in transport helps to encourage economic growth, as well as impacting on the quality of life for people.”
Despite his new role, Mr Jones who was first elected in 2010, insists his role as a ‘constituency champion’ will not change.
“Work as a constituency MP never changed and is always the most important,” he said.
Mr Jones is the first Harrogate MP to hold a Government role for over 50 years, since Conservative James Ramsden was the final ever Secretary of State of War from 1963 to 1964.