Devizes MP Claire Perry says her new role as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport won’t detract her from duties as a local MP.

Mrs Perry landed the position during the cabinet reshuffle last Tuesday, taking over from Stephen Hammond.

She said: “I’m delighted to be given such an interesting role.

“I have been quite involved with the rail links within the local community so I already know quite a lot of the people involved.”

Mrs Perry has been heavily involved in the campaign for rail electrification beyond Newbury to Bedwyn.

Recently she wrote to her predecessor about her concerns over a consultation document which would see passengers from Pewsey to London having to change at Newbury or Reading.

She said: “Obviously I would not be able to make the final decision because there would be a conflict of interest but I live in the area and I use these trains, so I can see the importance of keeping our rail links and everyone I have spoken to about it sees that it is something we have to be aware of.

“The final decision will be made by the secretary of state, as is often the case in these situations, but I will be involved in the consultation process.”

Mrs Perry has been visiting stations during the morning commute to speak to passengers about the consultation and she intends to continue to do this.

She said:“I want to engage with the public and find out what they think.

"There is a lot of misunderstanding about what is happening, we are not going to lose the service.

“People are always please to see their local MP doing things but there has been some concern that it will distract me which isn’t the case. Every morning I look at a map of the rail network, so if anything it will help to focus me.

“My priority is the community. First and foremost I am a local MP, that is why I was elected.”