The Fylde-based family of new Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay have spoken of their delight at his appointment – but acknowledged he faces a difficult task.
Mr Barclay is a old boy of the former King Edward VII School – now AKS at St Annes – and his parents Bob and Janice still live locally.
Bob is a stalwart and former president of Fylde RUFC, where Stephen played for a time, including some first team appearances alongside brother Ian, who now lives in Harrogate.
Another brother, Nick, is based in Luxembourg.
Dad Bob said: “As parents we are of course very proud.
“Stephen gave up a very well paid job with Barclays Bank in the city, but his heart was set on a political career.
“He has a very young family and now a challenging position to fill.
“We are confident he will do his best, and if his record to date is anything to go by, make a pretty good job of it.”
After completing his A levels, Mr Barclay joined the Army on a Gap Year Commission, attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
He then read history at Peterhouse, Cambridge and later qualified as a solicitor.
He came within 500 votes of winning the Lancaster and Wyre seat in 2001 before becoming MP for North East Cambridgeshire in 2010.
The father of three was Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care before being promoted to the Brexit job after Dominic Raab quit.
Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “Congratulations to my colleague on his ministerial appointment.
“As we leave the European Union, this is a hugely-important job and Stephen is more than capable of helping guide us through the process.
“I’m really pleased to see a former Fylde resident and student recognised in this way.”