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Friday 19th October 2012 | 18:35
Thank you for your letter. I was sorry to receive it, but I understand why you have reached the conclusion you have, and why you have decided to resign from the Government.
I regret that this has become necessary, and am very grateful for all you have done, both in Government and in Opposition - as well as for the kind words in your letter.
I am in no doubt that your work in the field of international development has made a really important contribution - not only to the Conservative Party, but more importantly to Britain’s standing in the world, and above all to international efforts to tackle deep and sustained poverty.
You brought real passion to the job in Opposition, which you turned into more than two years of very successful work in Government. You brought immense energy and dedication to the role, a focus on the world’s poorest, and decisive progress on the key issues of vaccination against preventable diseases, maternal health and family planning that make the greatest difference to the greatest number of people. You have also brought a proper accountability and transparency to the Department for International Development’s Work.
Under your leadership of the Department, Britain achieved a leading global role, which will be continued as Britain chairs the United Nation’s High Level Panel.
As we discussed in advance of the reshuffle, I wanted you to bring your organisational skill and energy to the important job of Chief Whip. It was clear to me that you had already made a strong start.
As you have acknowledged, the incident in Downing Street was not acceptable and you were right to apologise for it.
You have much to be proud of from your service on the Frontbench both in Opposition and in Government, and your continued service to your constituents in Sutton Coldfield. I hope that, in time, you will be able to make a
further contribution to public life.