Security minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, who was instrumental in promoting cyber security to the forefront of the National Security Strategy, has resigned from her post in the coalition government.
Neville-Jones told prime minister David Cameron at the beginning of the year that she intended to quit her job at around the time of the local elections, once she had been able to implement key policies her team had worked on while in opposition.
As the minister for security and counter-terrorism, Neville-Jones played a key role in securing a surprise extra £500m in funding for cyber security at a time of deep public sector cuts.
"You drew up the original plans for the National Security Council, and the National Security Strategy which underpins its work," wrote Cameron in a letter to Neville-Jones accepting her resignation.
"You have also rightly insisted that cyber security should receive much greater attention, which is now happening. I am delighted you have agreed to continue to play a role in this vital area."
Neville-Jones will reportedly now take on a new role working with the private sector as special representative to business on cyber security.
She will be replaced at the Home Office by Baroness Angela Browning.
Rob Cotton, chief executive of consultancy NCC Group, welcomed Neville-Jones's new role.
"Online security threats are a huge problem for the country and the international community as a whole. Recent high-profile attacks on businesses illustrate the importance of the public and private sectors working together to combat this ever-evolving threat," he said.
"We need the most experienced people taking proper responsibility for cyber security at a government level, and hopefully Baroness Neville-Jones's new role is a first step in this."
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