David Cameron loses second minister in two days as Lord Marland steps down

DAVID Cameron yesterday lost his second minister in as many days, as Lord Marland stepped down as minister for trade.

DAVID Cameron yesterday lost his second minister in as many days, as Lord Marland stepped down as minister for trade.

Lord Marland’s resignation came just a day after Lord Strathclyde announced he would depart from his position as leader of the House of Lords in order to pursue business interests.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A Downing Street spokesman said: “Lord Marland will be stepping down as a minister in order to focus on his role in trade ­promotion.”

Lord Marland of Odstock, 56, is a businessman and former Conservative Party treasurer who was made a life peer in 2006 and served as an opposition whip and spokesman in the Lords. He was treasurer for Boris Johnson’s successful campaign for London mayor in 2008 and made an unsuccessful bid for chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2009.

He was appointed to a junior ministerial job in the Department of Energy and Climate Change after the formation of the coalition government in 2010 and moved to the Department for Business in last year’s reshuffle.

He travelled the world to bang the drum for Britain as Mr Cameron’s trade envoy, but garnered bad headlines by joking on a trip to Mozambique last year that he was “just trying to keep the suntan up”.

His resignation comes a day after Mr Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg tried to inject some momentum into the coalition government with the launch of a mid-term review.

The loss of the Conservative minister was announced just hours after Mr Cameron told Tory MPs in a Westminster meeting that it was time to roll their sleeves up in preparation for the 2015 general election campaign.

Labour vice-chairman Michael Dugher said: “To lose two ministers in two days shows David Cameron’s government is in total chaos.

“Just one day after their botched relaunch, even people at the very heart of Cameron’s government are losing faith and abandoning ship.”