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Which Tory MPs have resigned? Two ministers quit Rishi Sunak's Government before general election

Which Tory MPs have resigned? Two ministers quit Rishi Sunak's Government before general election

Skills minister Robert Halfon and armed forces minister James Heappey have quit their roles just hours after Rishi Sunak appeared at the Common Liaison Committee before the Commons’ Easter recess.

“I feel that it is time for me to step down at the forthcoming General Election, and in doing so, to resign as a Minister in your Government,” Mr Halfon said in a letter to the prime minister.

The Harlow MP is a former chairman of the Commons education committee and Blue Collar Conservatism advocate. He is seen as more in touch with voters than some of his Tory colleagues.

Mr Sunak said in a letter that he was “very sorry to hear” of Mr Halfon’s decision to resign.

Mr Heappey had already said he was quitting as an MP at the next election but confirmed his resignation as armed forces minister.

The Tory MP for Wells posted on X: “I’ve loved every minute as MinAF in this incredible department. Our Armed Forces & MOD civil servants are the very best of us. Representing them in Parliament & around the world over last 4.5 years has been an amazing privilege.”

Mr Sunak thanked Mr Heappey for his “invaluable role in implementing the Government's Defence agenda”.

“You have made an important contribution to Government and your support to consecutive Conservative administrations at the Ministry of Defence has been commendable,” Mr Sunak said in a letter.

The changes have forced the PM to reshuffle his cabinet.

As a result, Nus Ghani has become Minister for Europe in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Leo Docherty will serve in the Ministry of Defence; Kevin Hollinrake will go to the business department; Luke Hall will be a minister in the Department for Education; and Alan Mak will serve as a parliamentary under-secretary.

Mr Sunak has faced repeated calls to call a general election, which he has rejected. Here are the most recent Tory MPs to stand down from their posts.

Robert Jenrick

Robert Jenrick resigned as immigration minister in December 2023 (PA Wire)
Robert Jenrick resigned as immigration minister in December 2023 (PA Wire)

Robert Jenrick resigned as immigration minister in December 2023 amid "strong disagreements" with the Government over the Rwanda policy.

The MP for Newark stated that he did not think Mr Sunak's emergency legislation returning to the controversial asylum plan would "end the merry-go-round of legal challenges" that have so far delayed the scheme.

Mr Sunak described the resignation as "disappointing". He said he feared the minister's departure was "based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation", and that it was "our experience that gives us confidence that this will work".

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson resigned as an MP in June 2023 (Jonathan Brady / PA Wire)
Boris Johnson resigned as an MP in June 2023 (Jonathan Brady / PA Wire)

The former prime minister said in June 2023 that the Privileges Committee’s investigation over the Partygate report was “making it clear, much to my amazement, that they are determined to use the proceedings against me to drive me out of Parliament”.

He added: “I am very sorry to leave my wonderful constituency. It has been a huge honour to serve them, both as mayor and MP.”

Nadine Dorries

Nadine Dorries’ resignation was sealed in August 2023 (Kirsty O’Connor / PA)
Nadine Dorries’ resignation was sealed in August 2023 (Kirsty O’Connor / PA)

Nadine Dorries announced her intention to resign in June 2023, although it didn't officially go through until August 26, 2023.

The former culture secretary then triggered a by-election in her Mid Bedfordshire constituency.

Her resignation came before the publication of Mr Johnson’s resignation honours list. Ms Dorries missed out on this after expecting to be included.

She explained her reason for stepping down on TalkTV, citing her workload. Ms Dorries said she had struggled to manage her MP duties while writing her Daily Mail column and presenting her TalkTV show.

Nigel Adams

Nigel Adams resigned in June 2023 (PA)
Nigel Adams resigned in June 2023 (PA)

Nigel Adams was the third MP to resign within three days in June, triggering a by-election in his Selby and Ainsty constituency.

Mr Adams announced his resignation on X, formerly Twitter, saying: “Yesterday, Selby Conservatives selected an excellent new parliamentary candidate.

“I’ve today informed the chief whip that I will be standing down as a Member of Parliament with immediate effect.

“It has been an honour to represent the area where I was raised (and) educated.”

Mr Adams was also expected to be named in Mr Johnson’s resignation honours list but was not included like Ms Dorries.

Here is the list of Tory MPs standing down after the next general election.