DEVIZES MP Claire Perry is taking a temporary leave of absence from her ministerial position due to a family illness, she announced on Monday.

Prime Minister Theresa May has agreed that Universities Minister Chris Skidmore will handle Perry's brief as energy and clean growth minister while she is away.

In a statement Downing Street confirmed Skidmore, MP for Kingswood, will take Perry's place in Cabinet discussions. He will handle the climate and energy brief alongside his existing ministerial responsibilities for education reform and science, research and innovation, No10 said.

"The Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry, will be taking a temporary leave of absence to care for a close family member who is unwell," the statement said.

"In her absence, the current Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Chris Skidmore, will be providing temporary ministerial cover for the energy and clean growth portfolio."

Ms Perry said: "I am extremely grateful to Theresa May for allowing me to take a temporary ministerial leave of absence to care for a family member and huge thanks to my talented colleagueChris SkidmoreUK for covering the crucial Energy and Clean Growth brief whilst I'm away."