BASINGSTOKE MP Maria Miller says she was surprised and delighted by her promotion today from a junior ministerial post to a position in the Cabinet.

Prime Minister David Cameron promoted Conservative Mrs Miller from Minister for Disabled People, to Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport.

She replaces South West Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt in the job and said her main priorities will be to fight for better broadband access across the country, as well as promote the Olympic Games’ legacy.

Alongside her Cabinet role, Mrs Miller was also named as the Minister for Women and Equalities, taking over that portfolio from Home Secretary Theresa May.

Following her 40-minute meeting at 10 Downing Street this morning, Mrs Miller told The Gazette that she was happy with her new post. “It is a great privilege to take culture, media, and sport after what has been one of the most fantastic summers I can remember of Olympic and Paralympic sport,” she said.

“It is going to be a fantastic challenge going forward. The department has a really important role in building the economic success of Britain.”

Mrs Miller added that she will draw on her experience as a Basingstoke MP in her Cabinet role. She said: “I think the great thing about my role is there is an enormous crossover as an MP, as Basingstoke is a cultural centre in the South East. A ministerial job means I can make sure that I can take everything I have learned in Basingstoke and apply it on a national scale.

“We have one of the top concert halls in the country, we have a vibrant cultural community – Basingstoke has been a fantastic place to learn how to deliver great culture and sport at a local level.”