COUNTY NEWS: MP ‘delighted and surprised’ to be made Home Secretary

Amber Rudd. MP for Hastings and Rye.
Amber Rudd. MP for Hastings and Rye.

Sussex MP Amber Rudd said it is a ‘fantastic honour’ to be appointed Home Secretary.

The former energy and climate change secretary was one of the biggest benefactors of the cabinet reshuffle as new Prime Minister Theresa May took charge on Wednesday (July 13).

“It is a fantastic honour to be made Home Secretary,” the Hastings and Rye MP said.

“I was delighted and surprised when the Prime Minister, Theresa May, contacted me and asked me into Number 10. She invited me to take on the role she recently left.

“It is a huge department and I look forward to taking responsibility for keeping the country safe and secure as well as of course keeping up my representation of Hastings and Rye.”

Ms Rudd will be in charge of immigration, police forces, counter-terrorism and more as Mrs May looks to get more women in the cabinet.

The Conservative MP is only the fifth woman to hold one of the Great Offices of State in British history and it is the first time two women have held the positions of PM and Home Secretary together.

She takes over at the Home Office from Mrs May and her biggest challenge will be tackling immigration.

The 52-year-old former investment banker, venture capitalist, and financial journalist has made a dramatic rise through the political ranks since narrowly beating Labour’s Michael Foster in 2010.

Ms Rudd was made parliamentary private secretary to then chancellor George Osborne two years later, before becoming junior minister at the energy and climate change department in 2014.

After holding the constituency in the general election last year, she was promoted to cabinet as secretary of state for the same brief.

Despite her secretary of state duties, Ms Rudd has been very much involved in the town, supporting the newly-refurbished pier as well as campaigning for the University of Brighton to keep its Hastings campus.

She also organises a jobs and apprenticeships fair and a transport summit every year at Sussex Coast College.

As climate change secretary, Ms Rudd was criticised by environmentalists over her policies on fracking and renewables, as well as the Combe Haven Defenders over the link road.

Ms Rudd campaigned for Britain to remain in the European Union and supported Ms May’s leadership bid, saying her energy minister and challenger Andrea Leadsom was not ready for the job.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Ms Rudd said she got into politics in her 40s to ‘get her life back’ and was chosen to represent Hastings after being put on the ‘A-list’ of candidates.

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