New Cabinet job for Forest MP
A NEW top job for Forest MP Mark Harper within David Cameron's Cabinet has placed him at the heart of the Government.
The 42-year-old, pictured, landed the role of Immigration Minister on Tuesday as part of the coalition's first major reshuffle.
Mr Harper has vowed not to abandon his Forest of Dean constituents as he heads to the dizzy heights of power where he will work alongside Home Secretary Theresa May.
He said: "I will continue to serve my constituents loyally as I have done for the last seven years.
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"It was a privilege to be asked by the Prime Minister to join the coalition government in 2010 and is a further honour to be asked to take up this new role in the Home Office.
"I look forward to working with Theresa May on playing our part in keeping this country a safe place to live, while making our economy more competitive and ensuring our country is one for people who work hard and want to get on."
It is understood Mr Harper has earned the respect of both Mr Cameron and Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg for his adept handling of the voting and House of Lords reforms under his previous role as Constitutional Affairs Minister.
But the new post could well be a poisoned chalice. A row between London Met University and the UK Border Agency (UKBA) over the decision to revoke the university's license to sponsor international students has intensified with both sides digging their heels in.
Meanwhile the UKBA has come under fire by a group of MPs who say it is saddling universities with bureaucracy after causing chaos in the student visa application process, which may have allowed 50,000 migrants to abuse the system.