Chris Heaton-Harris: Reaction to standing down

Chris Heaton-Harris with very short dark hair wearing a red patterned tie, outside Downing Street
Chris Heaton-Harris said he was leaving the "best job in cabinet" [PA Media]

Politicians have been responding to a cabinet minister's announcement that he will not stand in the next general election.

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris, who is also Conservative MP for Daventry, said it had been "an honour and privilege to serve".

Immigration minister and Corby MP Tom Pursglove called him "a superb friend and mentor".

Former Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams simply said “slán", meaning farewell, and Labour Eurosceptic Kate Hoey criticised his time in office.

Mr Heaton-Harris announced over the weekend that he would not stand in the next election.

He said that he would be leaving "the best job in cabinet".

Andrea Leadsom with blonde hair wearing burgundy jacket
Dame Andrea Leadsom MP described Mr Heaton-Harris as "an amazing colleague" [Reuters]

Dame Andrea Leadsom, the South Northamptonshire MP, paid tribute on X, formerly Twitter: "Thank you for your long service to our great United Kingdom."

Mr Pursglove said: "One of the truly good guys who has given so much to Northamptonshire politics and to our country."

Tom Pursglove with short dark hair wearing a grey jacket
Corby's Tom Pursglove MP said he owed "much" to Mr Heaton-Harris [PA Media]

Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker replied to Mr Heaton-Harris's announcement by saying: "Alas Boss, a privilege to work for you."

Energy Minister Amanda Salloway said "you have demonstrated true integrity, common sense and humanity" and Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said "you are one of the most respected, kindest and decent people in Parliament."

Gavin Robinson with short white hair wearing a red tie
Gavin Robinson of the DUP said Mr Heaton-Harris still has work to do [PA Media]

Mr Heaton-Harris was closely involved in the deal to restore the Northern Ireland Assembly by reassuring the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) about post-Brexit arrangements.

The DUP's Gavin Robinson said he "thanked him for his efforts to make progress".

"I trust he will remain in post until the mandate ends as there is delivery required from the government," said Mr Robinson.

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams, on the other hand, was understated and posted on X the single word "slán".

Baroness Hoey with curly fair hair and large earrings
Baroness Kate Hoey said Mr Heaton-Harris had left Northern Ireland with "laws we don't make and can't change" [PA Media]

The former Labour MP Baroness Hoey, who was born in Northern Ireland, said Mr Heaton-Harris left the province "under European Union rule setting us apart from the rest of the UK with laws that we don't make and can't change".

Jude Collins, an Irish writer and broadcaster, said in his latest podcast: "How will we know that he's left, since he's done [nothing] when he was here?

"He even looked like a man who was halfway gone already."

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