LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - Downing Street appointed former Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds as the new minister of security.
News of the appointment was made public hours after Home Secretary Priti Patel was reported to have absorbed the role into her other duties, media outlets including the Times and the Telegraph reported.
UK media outlets reported that a Home office official spokesperson stated that Patel's job had been expanded to include "those related to national security" matters.
Hinds takes the position following the resignation of former security minister James Brokenshire, who stepped down five weeks ago due health concerns, as his recovery from lung cancer was "taking longer than anticipated." Hinds expressed his gratitude for his new position in a post on Twitter.
"Conscious of the gravity of the task: Government's first responsibility is the safety of the country and its citizens," he said.
The UK government had been criticised in recent days for failing to fill the role of security minister. Incidents that rocked the UK included a gunman who killed at least six people in Plymouth, and a citizen who was arrested in Germany on suspicion of spying for Russia while working in the British embassy in Berlin.