Foreign Office minister Mark Simmonds resigns 'to put family first'

Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds has resigned from the government. saying his decision was based on the fact he ''rarely sees'' his wife and children.

He told the BBC's Arif Ansari that his stepping down was not connected to the events in Gaza which led to Baroness Warsi quitting as Foreign Office minister earlier this month.

''I am very supportive of the prime minister and the new foreign secretary's policy towards the Middle East,'' he said.

He added his decision to resign had been ''many months in the making''.

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