Thank you for your letter.
I understand your reasons for deciding to resign as Defence Secretary, although I am very sorry to see you go.
We have worked closely for these last six years, and you have been a key member of my team throughout that time.
You have done a superb job in the 17 months since the election, and as Shadow Defence Secretary before that.
You have overseen fundamental changes in the Ministry of Defence and in our Armed Forces, which will ensure that they are fully equipped to meet the challenges of the modern era.
On Libya, you played a key role in the campaign to stop people being massacred by the Gaddafi regime and instead win their freedom.
You can be proud of the difference you have made in your time in office, and in helping our party to return to Government.
I appreciate your commitment to the work of this Government, particularly highlighting the need to tackle the deficit, and the relationship between Britain’s economic strength and our national security.
You and Jesme have always been good friends, and I have truly valued your support over the years. I will continue to do so in the future.