Northern Ireland minister Heaton-Harris will not stand for re-election as MP

By Thomson Reuters May 18, 2024 | 9:44 PM

(Reuters) – Britain’s minister for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, will not stand for re-election to parliament, he said in a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Saturday.

Heaton-Harris asked Sunak to let him remain secretary of state for Northern Ireland until the general election, according to the letter he posted on X.

He said he would continue campaigning for the Conservative Party in the next election, where he will “do everything I can to see you returned as Prime Minister”.

Sunak’s Conservatives are trailing the opposition Labour Party in opinion polls ahead of the national election due at some point this year.

First elected in 2010, Heaton-Harris was appointed Northern Ireland minister by then-Prime Minister Liz Truss in September 2022 and reappointed by Sunak, who succeeded her the next month. He was chief whip, in charge of party discipline, under Boris Johnson.

Heaton-Harris has held positions across government departments, including transport, foreign affairs and Commonwealth development, according to his website.

(Reporting by Utkarsh Shetti in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)