Desmond Swayne has been Member of Parliament for New Forest West since 1997. He held a range of frontbench positions in opposition before being appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Michael Howard as Leader of the Opposition in 2004. He retained this role when the leadership of the Party passed to David Cameron and when David Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010. In September 2012, he moved to serve as a Government Whip, before being appointed to his current role as Minister of State for International Development in July 2014. Outside of politics, he is a Major in the Territorial Army and saw active service in the Iraq War.