FORMER Darlington MP Michael Fallon's promotion to the Cabinet marks the latest stage of a ministerial career which began under Margaret Thatcher.
Before becoming Defence Secretary he was juggling three jobs, including posts in the Liberal Democrat-controlled Business and Energy departments where he was seen as the Tories' eyes and ears.
He first took a ministerial role in the Thatcher administration, and was a co-founder of the No Turning Back group which aimed to protect her legacy within the Conservative Party.
After losing his Darlington seat in 1992, he developed his business career as a director of three companies founded by Dragons Den star Duncan Bannatyne.
In 1997 he returned to Parliament as MP for Sevenoaks, and was a long-standing member of the Treasury Select Committee during the years in opposition.
After the 2010 election he became deputy Tory chairman before being brought into Government, where he began collecting ministerial roles.
First he was appointed at Vince Cable's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, to which he added a role in Ed Davey's Department of Energy and Climate Change.
He was also given the role of Minister for Portsmouth, a post created following the announcement that naval shipbuilding would cease in the city with the loss of 1,000 jobs.
His promotion comes despite his close involvement in the controversial privatisation of Royal Mail, which the cross-party Business Select Committee said underestimated demand for the firm and potentially cost the taxpayer £1 billion.
Mr Fallon, 62, was educated at Epsom College before completing an MA in classics and ancient history at the University of St Andrews.