A FORMER Blackburn student has stepped up to become the new Conservative Party chairman in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's cabinet reshuffle.

North West Durham MP Richard Holden is originally from Grindleton and went to sixth form at St Mary's College before attending the London School of Economics.

He has filled the post formerly occupied by Greg Hands, having formerly been a junior transport minister.

Mr Holden says that the PM's reshuffle has created a "very broad team".

Asked about the appointment of ex-PM David Cameron as Foreign Secretary, he said: "You always want to bring in some experience and, also, you want to bring in some younger people like Laura Trott, one of the new Cabinet ministers, as well."

He told Times Radio: "I think what you're actually seeing is the Conservative Party reflecting what it is, which is a broad-based party of the country, a united team, wanting to deliver for the country on those big priorities that we're all facing at the moment."

The former Ribble Valley man declined to given an opinion on Suella Braverman leaving as Home Secretary, saying: "The Prime Minister has a right to choose whoever he wants in his government."

Mr Holden has also stressed the need for unity across his party after backbench MP Dame Andrea Jenkyns submitted a no confidence letter in the Prime Minister.