Energy minister Graham Stuart quits role as Tory exodus continues ahead of general election

12 April 2024, 17:02 | Updated: 12 April 2024, 17:23

Graham Stuart has announced he is stepping down.
Graham Stuart has announced he is stepping down. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Energy minister Graham Stuart has announced he is quitting his ministerial role to focus on local issues.

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The exit is another blow to Rishi Suank's Government ahead of the upcoming general election following the departure of several ministers in recent months.

Graham Stuart said he is proud to have served in the Government over the past eight years, and he will "fully support" the Prime Minister from the back benches.

He said in a letter to the Prime Minister: "I'm proud to have served in the Government for most of the past eight years, but now it's time to focus on Beverley and Holderness.

"I'm proud to have achieved much over the past 18 years, from rock armour at Withernsea to saving East Riding Community Hospital, installing life-saving defibrillators in rural communities and slashing fares on the Humber Bridge.

"I'm looking forward to working with communities to make our roads safer, helping the council take full advantage of the opportunities brought by devolution, pressing the case for York to Hull Rail and improving healthcare in Beverley and Holderness."

Mr Stuart became minister of state for climate under Liz Truss's government.

Upon the appointment of Mr Sunak as Prime Minister he was reappointed to his position but was removed from Cabinet.

In addition to his role as energy and net zero minister, Mr Stuart also served in the Foreign Office, the Department for International Trade and as an assistant whip to the Treasury.

This comes a month after former armed forces minister James Heappey announced he was leaving the Cabinet and standing down at the next general election.

During a mini-reshuffle following Mr Stuart's departure, Justin Tomlinson will take over as energy minister while Andrew Mitchell has been named Deputy Foreign Secretary.

Downing Street said Foreign Office minister Mr Mitchell has been given the "honorific title" on Friday.

Mims Davies, former parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Work and Pensions, has replaced Mr Tomlinson as minister for disabled people, health and work, Downing Street said.