NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris becomes latest high-profile Tory MP to stand down at next general election

18 May 2024, 23:22

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris has announced he will not be standing at the next general election.
Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris has announced he will not be standing at the next general election. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris has announced he will not be standing at the next general election.

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The Tory MP said on X it had been an "honour and a privilege to serve and I'd like to thank the good people of Daventry".

He added that he would be continuing to campaign for the Conservatives as the "only party that has and can deliver for the whole of the United Kingdom".

Read More: 'Tip of the iceberg': Up to 100 Tory MPs 'to quit by election', insiders fear after Heappey stands down

The Tory MP said on X it had been an "honour and a privilege to serve" and passed on his thanks to his constituents in Daventry.

He also thanked Rishi Sunak as well as former prime ministers Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.

He added that he would be continuing to campaign for the Conservatives as the "only party that has and can deliver for the whole of the United Kingdom".

London, UK. 14 May 2024. Chris Heaton-Harris - Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is seen in Downing Street. Credit: Justin Ng/Alamy Live News.
Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris has announced he will not be standing at the next general election. Picture: Alamy

Mr Heaton-Harris was first elected as an MP in 2010. A fierce Eurosceptic, he was appointed Tory chief whip in 2022 by Mr Johnson.

Later that year, Liz Truss appointed him as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, a role he retained when Mr Sunak became Prime Minister.

Mr Heaton-Harris is the recent MP to announce they are standing down - following James Heappey, the current minister for the armed forces, who announced he was not seeking re-election in March.

He joins high-profile names such as Theresa May, Ben Wallace, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Matt Hancock in leaving the Commons.

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He joins high-profile names such as Theresa May, Ben Wallace, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Matt Hancock in leaving the Commons. Picture: Getty

The 99 departures already make it the highest number of retirements since 2010. The exodus is greater on the Conservative benches, which are on track for their biggest wave of departures since the 1997 Labour landslide.

LBC's political editor Natasha Clark has reported that this is "just the tip of the iceberg" and a staggering 100 Tory MPs are to quit before the election is formally called.

Of all the 99 MPs standing down ahead of the next national poll - which must take place by January 2025 - 64 are Conservatives, according to the House of Commons Library.

Edinburgh, United Kingdom. 07 August, 2023 Pictured: LBC presenter Iain Dale, interviews Harriet Harman, Labour MP for Camberwell and Peckham
Harriet Harman, the former Labour leader, Margaret Beckett, the former foreign secretary, and Ben Bradshaw, the former culture secretary, are among the 17 Labour MPs standing down. Picture: Alamy

Harriet Harman, the former Labour leader, Margaret Beckett, the former foreign secretary, and Ben Bradshaw, the former culture secretary, are among the 17 Labour MPs standing down.

Nine SNP MPs, six independents - including former health secretary Matt Hancock - one Green, one Plaid Cymru and two Sin Feinn MPs have also decided to call it a day.

The SNP will have the highest turnover following the next election. The eight standing down equates to nearly a fifth of the party’s MPs.

Here is the list of departing MPs:

CONSERVATIVES - 64

Adam Afriyie - Windsor

Nickie Aiken - City of London and Westminster

Lucy Allan - Telford

Stuart Andrew - Pudsey

Richard Bacon - South Norfolk

John Baron - Basildon and Billlericay

Paul Beresford - Mole Valley

Graham Brady - Altrincham and Sale west

Steve Brine - Winchester

Lisa Cameron - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow

Andy Carter - Warrington South

William Cash - Stone

Chris Clarkson - Heywood and Middleton

Tracey Crouch - Chatham and Aylesford

Dehenna Davison - Bishop Auckland

Jonathan Djanogly - Huntington

James Duddridge - Rochford and Southend East

Phillip Dunne - Ludlow

George Eustice - Camborne and Redruth

Mike Freer - Finchley and Golders Green

Nick Gibb - Bognor Regis and Littlehampton

Jo Gideon – Stoke-on-Trent Central

Robert Goodwill – Scarborough

Chris Grayling – Epsom and Ewell

Stephen Hammond – Wimbledon

Trudy Harrison – Copeland

Oliver Heald – North East Hertfordshire

James Heappey – Wells

Chris Heaton-Harris - Daventry

Gordon Henderson – Sittingbourne and Sheppey

John Howell – Henley

Alister Jack – Dumfries and Galloway

Sajid Javid – Bromsgrove

David Jones – Clwyd West

Greg Knight - East Yorkshire

Kwasi Kwarteng - Spelthorne

David Jones – Clwyd West

Brandon Lewis – Great Yarmouth

Theresa May – Maidenhead

Stephen McPartland – Stevenage

Kieran Mullan – Crewe and Nantwich

Bob Neill – Bromley and Chislehurst

Matthew Offord – Hendon

Mark Pawsey – Rugby

Mike Penning – Hemel Hempstead

Andrew Percy – Brigg and Goole

Will Quince – Colchester

Dominic Raab – Esher and Walton

Nicola Richards – West Bromwich East

Douglas Ross – Moray

Paul Scully – Sutton and Cheam

Alok Sharma – Reading West

Chloe Smith – Norwich North

Henry Smith – Crawley

Royston Smith – Southampton Itchen

Gary Streeter – South West Devon

Edward Timpson – Eddisbury

Charles Walker – Broxbourne

Robin Walker – Worcester

Ben Wallace – Wyre and Preston North

Jamie Wallis - Bridgend

Craig Whittaker – Calder Valley

William Wragg – Hazel Grove

Labour - 17

Margaret Beckett - Derby South

Paul Blomfield - Sheffield Central

Ben Bradshaw - Exeter

Karen Buck - Westminster North

Jon Cruddas - Dagenham and Rainham

Alex Cunningham - Stockton North

Wayne David - Caerphilly

Colleen Fletcher - Coventry North East

Margaret Greenwood - Wirral West

Harriet Harman - Camberwell and Peckham

Margaret Hodge - Barking

George Howarth - Knowsley

Ian Mearns - Gateshead

Christina Rees - Neath

Barry Sheerman - Huddersfield

Alan Whitehead - Southampton Test

Rosie Winterton - Doncaster Central

Mark Menzies - Fylde

Scottish National Party - 9

Mhairi Black - Paisley and Renfrewshire South

Ian Blackford - Ross, Skye and Lochaber

Douglas Chapman - Dunfermline and West Fife

Angela Crawley - Lanark and Hamilton East

Patrick Grady - Glasgow North

Peter Grant - Glenrothes

Stewart Hosie - Dundee East

John McNally - Falkirk

Philippa Whitford - Central Ayrshire

INDEPENDENT - 6

Crispin Blunt - Reigate

Nick Brown - Newcastle upon Tyne East

Matt Hancock - West Suffolk

Julian Knight - Solihull

Conor McGinn - St Helens North

Bob Stewart - Beckenham

SINN FEIN - 2

Mickey Brady - Newry and Armagh

Francie Molloy - Mid Ulster

GREEN - 1

Caroline Lucas - Brighton Pavillion

PC - 1

Hywel Williams - Arfon

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