Mark Lancaster has been the Armed Forces Minister since 2017.
Politics

Mark Lancaster Continues In Role As Armed Forces Minister

Mark Lancaster has been the Armed Forces Minister since 2017.

Mark Lancaster has been Armed Forces Minister since 2017 (Picture: UK Parliament).

Mark Lancaster has been reappointed Minister of State for the Armed Forces.

The MP for Milton Keynes North was first selected for the role in June 2017, under Theresa May's government.

He will now continue in his post alongside a new team, after the appointment of Ben Wallace as the UK's Defence Secretary, taking over from Penny Mordaunt.

A number of new faces joined the department as part of Boris Johnson's cabinet reshuffle.

Similarly, Tobias Ellwood has been removed from his role as Minister for Defence People and Veterans, with Anne-Marie Trevelyan appointed as a new defence minister.

As part of Mr Lancaster's role as Minister of State for the Armed Forces he is responsible for forces activity including operations, operational legal matters, force generation and international defence engagement.

Mark Lancaster's military connections

Between 1988 and 1990, Mark Lancaster secured a gap year commission in Hong Kong with the Queen's Gurkha Engineers before going to university.

A gap year commission is where you take an eight-week training course at Sandhurst, which allows recruits to spend the rest of the year serving as part of the Army.

He then transferred his commission to the Army Reserve in 1990 after returning from university to help run his family business.

As a Colonel in the Army Reserves, his operational tours have included deployments to Kosovo (1999 to 2000), Bosnia (2001 to 2002) and Afghanistan (2006).

He still serves as a reservist.

Voting record

According to the voting records website TheyWorkForYou.com, Mr Lancaster has consistently voted for the use of British military forces in combat operations overseas and for airstrikes against the so-called Islamic State in Syria. 

He also voted in 2014 for airstrikes to support Iraqi forces in their fight against the terrorist organisation. 

Mr Lancaster voted for replacing the UK's Trident nuclear deterrent programme with a new system.

Earlier in July he welcomed the arrival of a second training squadron of F-35 Lightnings to RAF Marham, including the UK’s 18th jet.

Their arrival meant all training with the next-generation jet will be conducted in the UK for the first time.

An F-35B touches down at RAF Akrotiri
An F-35B touches down at RAF Akrotiri (Picture: Royal Navy).

Also in July, the defence minister announced there was a new recruitment drive for Team Tempest, the programme developing the sixth-generation fighter jet to join the RAF’s fleet from 2035.

He said: "This recruitment drive demonstrates our enduring commitment to securing and advancing the careers of some of the brightest minds in the UK."

There are already more than 1,000 employees from across UK industry working on the project and the MOD is planning to increase that number to more than 2,500 by 2021.