Minister rejects a new job at the Foreign Office for the sake of his wife and ...

Minister rejects a new job at the Foreign Office for the sake of his wife and three children under three because it involves too much foreign travel Standalone Cabinet role of Northern Powerhouse Minister axed in reshuffle Housing Minister Simon Clarke said he had taken over role, but is not in Cabinet PM's spokesman insisted Cabinet minister would have 'responsibility - alongside other things'

By David Wilcock, Whitehall Correspondent For Mailonline and Larissa Brown Political Correspondent For The Daily Mail

Published: 15:38 GMT, 14 February 2020 | Updated: 17:37 GMT, 14 February 2020

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A close ally of Boris Johnson quit the Government last night after turning down a new job in the Cabinet reshuffle because it would have taken him away from his family too much.

The standalone Cabinet role of Northern Powerhouse Minister, created after Mr Johnson became Prime Minister last year, was axed in yesterday's reshuffle.

Downing Street was forced to insist it was still committed to its 'levelling-up' agenda for the North of England today after axing the ministerial post for the region.

The MP for Rossendale and Darwen in Lancashire has three children aged under three, including a baby born just days ago.

He said ‘family will always come first’ and he could not accept a role ‘which would have required substantial amounts of foreign travel’.    

Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry quit the Government last night after rejecting a move to become a junior Foreign Office minister because of his young family (pictured with wife Alice and their three children)

Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry quit the Government last night after rejecting a move to become a junior Foreign Office minister because of his young family (pictured with wife Alice and their three children)

He had held the post, created after Mr Johnson became Prime Minister last year, but it was axed in yesterday's reshuffle

He had held the post, created after Mr Johnson became Prime Minister last year, but it was axed in yesterday's reshuffle

The move would have been a demotion because his new role would have been outside of the Cabinet.

Announcing his decision on Twitter, he said: ‘It has been the greatest privilege of my life to fight for the North in Westminster.

‘For the last two-and-a-half years I have helped move the Northern Powerhouse from concept to

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