MID- WORCESTERSHIRE MP Sir Peter Luff is to take on a lobbying role in the defence sector.

The former minister for defence equipment, support and technology, who is leaving Parliament after May's general election, is to become a patron of NDI, the trade body representing companies involved in the defence industry. The move comes just weeks after NDI’s ownership was taken over by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, allowing NDI members to benefit from being part of the largest and most influential force backing UK manufacturing and engineering.

Sir Peter said: "I valued greatly my relationship with NDI when I was a minister and am delighted to be given this opportunity to support this fine organisation. It’s vital that the voice of the smaller companies in our outstanding defence and security supply chain is heard and that they have access to the best information about the markets in which they operate, and that is precisely what NDI offers them.”

His ongoing involvement and now patronage will further boost the support and expertise that NDI is able to provide member companies, most of which are small and medium sized, to help them to develop and grow their businesses across the defence, security, aerospace and space sectors, both nationally and internationally.

Terry Scuoler, chief executive of EEF, added: "I am delighted that Sir Peter has accepted the role of being a patron of NDI. NDI has an excellent reputation for supply chain solutions and now as part of EEF is ideally positioned to provide the business support and intelligence needed to unlock opportunity for British manufacturers. Sir Peter brings energy, interest and experience to the table and will be instrumental in making sure UK engineering benefits from NDI’s knowledge and expertise.”

Mike Maiden, chairman of NDI’s advisory board, said: "We are delighted and honoured that Sir Peter has agreed to become a patron. He is already a member of NDI’s advisory board and, in that capacity, we have benefited enormously from his knowledge and experience – including as a former defence minister – as well as his enthusiasm for the engineering sector and the part which SMEs play within it. I look forward to working closely with Sir Peter and our other patron, Lord Willy Bach, to support the business aspirations of our member companies.”