AN East Lancashire MP has announced he is stepping down as the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth Minister.

Jake Berry, who represents Darwen and Rossendale, announced on Twitter he is to step away from the role after just short of three years.

In this week's governement reshuffle Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has been appointed rail minister at the Department of Transport.

He moves from a similar minister of state role at the Foreign Office where he had special responsibility for Africa.

Within a series of tweets Mr Berry, 41, said he had been offered another role that would require "substantial amounts of foreign travel" but needed to put his young family first.

He said: "It has been the greatest privilege of my life to fight for the north in Westminster.

"For the last two and a half years I have helped move the Northern Powerhouse from concept to cabinet table.

"I firmly believe that the Northern Powerhouse was the foundation stone of the blue wall that delivered a Conservative majority government.

"I chose to leave government after being offered another role that would have required substantial amounts of foreign travel.

"I have three children under three - the youngest of whom is less than a week old.

"Family will always come first and I felt unable to accept the offer.

"I will continue to support the government and the Prime Minster from the back benches and will keep actively campaigning for my constituents in Rossendale and Darwen."

Mr Berry, originally from Liverpool, has been an MP in East Lancashire since 2010.